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Lower job loss rate does not equal a recovery

Business Times - 09 Jun 2009


Lower job loss rate does not equal a recovery

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

US President Barack Obama returned to Washington, after his trip to the Middle East and Europe, where he will presumably try to boost efforts towards what some officials and pundits are describing now as 'economic recovery'.

Economic recovery you said? But the US Labor Department reported on Friday that 345,000 Americans lost their jobs last month - adding to the six million already out of work since this recession began - as US unemployment rose to 9.4 per cent, which is the highest rate since 1983. And if one recalls the so-called 'bank stress tests', the unemployment rate applied in their worst case scenario was 8.9 per cent. So a 9.4 unemployment rate does not sound like great economic news.

Yet, both officials in Washington and investors in Wall Street seemed to be in a cheerful mood after the report was issued on Friday and digested over the weekend. T…