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Job Losses Continue: Worst in Last 5 Years

Republican economic policies continue to take their toll on working-class Americans, while John McCain and Sarah Palin promise four more years of tax favors for the rich and corporate CEOs.

Employers made deeper cuts in their payrolls in September, according to the Labor Department's monthly jobs report, as the economy experienced the biggest drop in jobs in more than five years.

There was a net loss of 159,000 jobs in September, the ninth straight month the U.S. economy has lost jobs. The August job loss was revised to 73,000 jobs, taking year-to-date job losses to 760,000.

In the first three quarters of 2008, three-quarters of a million Americans lost their jobs as John McCain and George Bush did nothing more than offer weak assurances that the "economy is fundamentally sound." The administration lost its gamble, hoping the economic collapse and deepening recession would not hit hard until after the November election. Doing nothing brought our economy to the brink of disaster, and all we got from John McCain was a denial that there was a problem as he covered for the administration.

And the rate of jobs lost accelerated in September - as John McCain lied to the American people about the situation.

[Robert Dye, senior economist with PNC Financial Services Group] pointed out that the September job loss is roughly twice the 75,000 average level seen in the first eight months of the year. The September jobs report loss, coupled with other recent economic readings and the credit crisis among the nation's banks and Wall Street firms, all point to deeper job cuts and recession conditions at least through the spring of 2009, he said.

The situation for those of us lucky enough to still be employed isn't rosy either. Our paychecks are shrinking -- and John McCain wants to end the payroll tax break for health insurance premiums we pay through payroll deductions, increasing our taxes and reducing take home pay further.

We're currently caught in a Republican whirlpool of economic mis-management, and this spiraling down is expected to continue.

In another sign of weakness, the average hourly work week slipped by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours. And a modest 3-cent gain in the average hourly salary, combined with the shorter week, means that the average weekly paycheck fell by 81 cents to $610.51. Both the work week and hourly wage gains were weaker than forecasts.

"Incomes being crimped will feed back to weaken spending. And that will feed back into more job losses," said Robert Brusca of FAO Economics. "It is vicious circle time."

The credit crunch now underway was greatly exacerbated by the angry House Republicans acting out on Monday by failing to pass the bailout bill -- all because those asses were angry at Nancy Pelosi for speaking the truth about Bush's failed economic policies and the spiraling mess that's resulted.

The toll for this Republican immaturity, which hit right as the October 1 payrolls were being paid, no doubt will result in even higher unemployment numbers for October. Those numbers won't be released before the November 4 election, but nonetheless it is certain that the jobs situation worsened this last week.

Economists agree that even if the measure passes, it's very possible the future employment reports will show an even greater loss of jobs due to the credit crunch this month.

"The job losses are accelerating and the credit crunch is adding fuel to the fire," said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at Cal State University Channel Islands. "This recession could be deeper and longer than expected."

Handing the shovel to John McCain and Sarah Palin and the pack of angry Republicans behind them, who've only promised four more years of the same deregulation and tax favors for the rich and for corporations, is not going to dig us out of this hole.

The answer is to give the job to Barack Obama and Joe Biden. America was built by hard-working people willing to break their backs for a better future, not rich aristocrats who seek more and more gold. America will be rebuilt by hard-working Americans, and only Obama and Biden realize this and are offering solutions that will help middle-class America rise to the challenge that lies ahead.

Obama in Pennsylvania Friday:

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Comments (2)


You know, it's too bad the Democrats don't have a majority in the House, or they could have passed that bill.

Wait a minute...

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Nothing done prior to the end of Clinton's term in 2000 anticipated the sub prime crisis that developed under the watchful regulatory eye of George Bush in 2005.

[T]he Financial Services Committee, which organized under the Democrats on January 31, 2007, passed the bill restructuring the regulation of Fannie and Freddie -- specifically including all the increased powers that the Bush administration requested -- on March 28, 2007 and the full House followed -- by a vote of 313 to 104 in early May. The House passed these important reforms in May of 2007 -- only four months after we became the majority. It is true that the bill was held up for over a year by inaction in the Senate, but that is not surprising given the difficulty the Senate has moving controversial legislation on any subject.
---- Barney Frank

The Republican-controlled Congress, led by shortsighted conservatives like John McCain, did nothing in the way of regulating the industry prior to that. This crisis developed and bloomed under the Bush administration's watch, and nothing happened in Congress until the Democrats took control.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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