More than half a million workers in America lost their jobs this past week according to the latest unemployment report from the government.
It’s the fastest rise in joblessness since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks seven years ago. And the total number of people on benefit rolls jumped to the highest level since 1983, according to Bloomberg.
The New York Times reported that the new figures are likely to push the U.S. unemployment rate from its current level of 6.5 percent to 7 percent by January 2009.
Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy and is affected by rising joblessness. A protracted downturn could result, economists said.