Unemployment Rate Hits Four Year High

August 7, 2008 – The U.S. lost another 51,000 jobs last month, marking the seventh straight month of job loss and pushing the number of jobs lost this year to 463,000. The unemployment rate jumped from 5.5 to 5.7 percent, its highest level in four years, according to the Labor Department’s employment report.

The manufacturing and construction sectors continue to be hit hardest by the economic downturn, losing 35,000 and 22,000 jobs respectively.

The continued job loss comes as working families struggle with a mortgage crisis as well as soaring gas and food prices and further reinforces the need for a second economic stimulus package.

If working families cannot find the jobs and hours they need, incomes are likely to fall, driving consumption—70 percent of the economy—down as well, states the Economic Policy Institute’s Jobs Report. “In this regard, policy makers need to actively plan for a second stimulus package to help strapped families and offset the headwinds holding the economy, and particularly the job market, back.”