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Scott Jagow: I’m not trying to be all doomy and gloomy. It’s just a fact: The unemployment numbers out this morning are shocking. The economy lost 533,000 jobs last month. That’s almost twice as many as expected. It’s the worst month since December 1974. The unemployment rate is now 6.7 percent, highest since ’93. And GM piled on this morning, saying it’ll lay off 2,000 more factory workers early next year. The question is, how long will this go on? Ashley Milne-Tyte.
Ashley Milne-Tyte: Companies are reacting much faster to the weakening economy than many expected.
Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors says the size of the losses is staggering. He says it suggests more large losses will occur during the next few months. Naroff says the only good thing is companies are probably getting the ugliness over with within a short timeframe.
Joel Naroff: That is businesses are all acting immediately. So we may have a few months of very large job losses, but then they may slow because businesses are reacting so quickly.
He says this news means more gloom for the retail industry, leading up to Christmas and beyond.
Naroff: The conservative nature of the consumer is only gonna be reinforced by this kind of jobs report.
Naroff says with this added pressure on the economy, he expects the Fed to cut interest rates again when they meet on December 16.
In New York, I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.
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