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US reports Largest total monthly job loss in 5 years.

the great depressionExcerpt from original article by Chris Isidore:

NEW YORK ( — “Employers made their deepest cut in staffing in almost five years in February, according to a closely watched government report that showed the labor market to be far weaker than expected.

The weak report fueled already mounting recession fears and is likely to influence the Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates later this month.

There was a net loss of 63,000 jobs, according to the Labor Department, which is the biggest decline since March 2003 and weaker than the revised 22,000 jobs lost in January. Economists surveyed by had forecast a gain of 25,000 jobs in the most recent reading.

“These poor jobs data are the strongest evidence yet that the economy has slipped into a recession of uncertain depth and duration,” University of Maryland Professor Peter Morici said.

Job losses were widespread, reaching beyond the battered construction sector, which lost 39,000 and manufacturing, where job losses hit 52,000. Retailers cut 34,000 jobs, while business and professional services cut 20,000 jobs.

Temporary staffing firms cut nearly 28,000 from their payrolls, another warning sign of employers pulling back, and hotels cut about 4,000 jobs, a sign that discretionary consumer spending could be on the wane.

Overall the private sector cut 101,000 jobs, with only a gain in government employment limiting losses.”