Worst Jobs Loss In 34 Years Doesn’t Faze Hopeful Wall Street

The worse-than-expected jobs report from the government today has so far done little to stimulate action on the stimulus bill that’s still in the taffy-pulling stage in the U.S. Senate. Even Wall Street pretty much shrugged off the news that 600,000 jobs were lost in January, the most since 1974. At midday the Dow was up 153 points, extending its Thursday rally on the strength of hope the U.S. Senate will approve something by tonight.

The monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics described the U.S. situation in surprisingly gloomy words for bureaucrats. Noting that the unemployment rate rose .4 points in one month — from 7.2 in December to 7.6 percent nationwide at the end of January – the BLS report said in its very first paragraph: “In January, job losses were large and widespread across nearly all major industry sectors.”

The only job categories to show growth were Education and Health Services, up by 54,000 jobs, and Government, which grew by 6,000 jobs. Construction and manufacturing together lost 318,000 jobs.

The 11.6 million Americans now officially out of work represent mostly those still actively looking for work. Discouraged workers who have given up, even temporarily, looking for work, and those working part-time because they can’t find full time jobs come to almost 10 million more. If those workers were counted as part of the unemployed, the unemployment rate would be closer to 15 percent.

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In Washington, Senate negotiators have trimmed somewhere between $70 and $80 billion from the stimulus bill, depending on when and to whom reporters were talking. The latest report from the Wall Street Journal says that a bipartisan group was working to get the stimulus bill closer to the $800 billion floor the Administration insists is the minimum it will accept. That would necessitate finding as much as $45 billion more to take out of the bill that by some estimates has mushroomed to $935 billion. However, negotiators expect the final cuts to amount to $100 billion.

There is one bright spot: Oil is down on the New York Mercantile Exchange to under $40 a barrel. That’s the first time since 2005 it has been so low.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


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