An unidentified man who is looking for a job leaves the New York State Department of Labor Community Service Center in Williamsville, N.Y., Friday, March 7, 2008. Employers slashed jobs by 63,000 in February, the most in five years, the starkest sign yet the country is heading dangerously toward recession or is in one already. (AP Photo/David Duprey)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Analysts are bracing for another expected blow
to a battered economy as the Labor Department prepares to release
last month's unemployment report.
Economists expect to learn Friday that the unemployment rate
jumped to 7 percent in December from 6.7 percent in November. If
they're right it'll mark the highest unemployment rate in more than
Economists are forecasting that employers axed another 550,000
jobs last month. If so, that would bring the net number of jobs
lost for all of last year to 2.46 million. But there are some who
think the figure could be as high as 600,000 or 700,000.
Either way, 2008 is shaping up to be the worst year in terms of
job losses since 1945, when 2.8 million jobs were cut.