An increasingly disturbing employment outlook is contributing to concerns about the long-term prospects for economic recovery.
New statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that national unemployment stands at 6.5 percent, up from 6.1 percent in September.
This represents a loss of 240,000 jobs in October, and follows 284,000 lost jobs in September and 127,000 in August. Many of these losses took place in industries like construction, manufacturing and service, while the BLS noted that health care and mining continued to grow. A total of 1.2 million jobs have vanished nationwide in 2008.
Labor Secretary Elaine Chao was optimistic for the long term, saying that "it will take time" for the recent $700 billion stimulus package to positively impact the labor market.
President Bush tried to emphasize long term recovery prospects in light of the new figures. "The market for lending between banks has loosened considerably, and the Federal Reserve’s efforts to stabilize the commercial paper market have provided businesses with an urgently needed source of financing," said Bush.
The Associated Press also noted that House Democrats are likely to soon call for an additional $100 billion stimulus plan that could include public works funds to aid job creation.