Unemployment: How to Slow the Bleeding

In crafting a spending plan, federal officials must choose between measures that give a fast lift to the economy and those that create sustainable new jobs
Spending on infrastructure projects figures to be part of any economic stimulus package Congress considers. Chris Hondros/Getty Images

It's now become apparent that the most painful part of the economic downturn—the part where many thousands of people lose their jobs—is picking up speed. On Friday, Nov. 7, the Labor Dept. announced that this year through October the U.S. economy lost 1.2 million jobs. That brought the unemployment rate to 6.5%—its highest level since 1994. Add to that a stream of recent layoff announcements (BusinessWeek.com, 10/20/08) by the likes of Merck (MRK), General Electric (GE), and Yahoo (YHOO). Just this week, DHL (DPWGN.DE) announced it would cut 9,500 jobs as it pulled out of express package delivery in the U.S.

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