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The Recession Slams the Workforce

Public Domain/Library and Archives Canada

The Recession Slams the Workforce

The U.S. economy is bleeding jobs. As the recession deepens and business contracts, companies are trimming their costs by shedding workers—in November alone, the U.S. economy lost 533,000 jobs, the worst one-month decline in 34 years. The unemployment rate currently stands at a 15-year high of 6.7%, with most economists predicting it will rise from there.

President-elect Barack Obama says a central goal of the 2009 economic stimulus package he will propose is to create sustainable American jobs in areas such as infrastructure, health care, and renewable energy. In the meantime, Congress has voted to extend unemployment insurance benefits to laid-off workers for an additional 13 weeks for those who have exhausted their 26 weeks of coverage. While many companies are cutting full-time staff, others such as Google (GOOG) reduce costs by trimming their force of contract laborers. Companies aren't required to report these job cuts to the U.S. government, and those workers don't qualify for unemployment insurance benefits. The following slide show presents a sampling of some of the biggest job cuts announced since October.