Job Losses Report adds to Recession Fears

March 7, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
On Capitol Hill today, lawmakers heard from the Labor Department about the latest job losses.63,000 jobs were slashed in February. That makes two straight months of job losses which most economists say almost certainly guarantees we're in a recession. "We seem to be at a point where the labor market, job growth is fairly flat right now. We are at a pause, a stall at the moment," said Commissioner of Labor Statistics, Keith Hall.

Many officials are still avoiding the word recession, even though some sectors of the economy have come to a screeching halt. "In past periods that have been declared a recession, there were broad job declines across the economy. At the moment we don't have that yet," said Hall.

Foreclosures are at a record high with more homeowners behind on their payments, showing that the sub-prime market mess, that sparked this economic slowdown, hasn't bottomed out.

In Washington, CEO's of lending institutions that took big hits, are being grilled by lawmakers. "The question is, how can a few executives do so well, when their companies are doing so poorly?" asked Congressman Henry Waxman (D) California.

One of the most egregious examples? The CEO of Countrywide, who made millions of dollars, while homeowners who fell behind on their payments like Rachel Kahny suffered. Her loan went into foreclosure. "The money they're putting in their pockets is food they're taking out of my children's mouths. And that is not right. They should be held accountable for that," said Kahny.

A Whitehouse spokesperson said the focus should not be on what to call this economic downturn, but on the measures to get the economy back on track.


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