According to the data released today by ADP Employer Services, job losses in the private sector worsened in March as the unemployment rolls grew faster than anticipated.
Private employers cut jobs by a record 742,000 in March versus a 706,000 revised cut in February that was originally reported at 697,000 jobs.
The data also showed companies employing more than 499 workers shrank their workforces by 128,000 jobs. Medium-sized businesses, with 50 to 499 employees, cut 330,000 jobs and small companies decreased payrolls by 284,000.
That is a dubious follow on to last week’s data that continues to show a major decline in the economy overall as tight credit and slowing sales press the markets lower.
The U.S. economy shrank at a 6.3 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter, the worst performance since 1982. The contraction in gross domestic product was larger than the previously estimated 6.2 percent drop, the Commerce Department said last week.
The GDP report also showed corporate profits dropped 16.5 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous three months, the biggest decline since 1953. For all of last year, profits were down 10.1 percent, the biggest annual drop since 1970.
Meanwhile, the confidence of the consumers on the receiving end of those falling numbers is still dwindling.
From Bloomberg by Courtney Schlisserman entitled: U.S. Consumer Confidence Holds Near a Record Low
"Confidence among U.S. consumers stayed near a record low in March, held back by job losses and fears of further hardship.
The Conference Board’s index increased to 26 this month from a revised 25.3 in February, the lowest reading since data began in 1967. A separate report showed home values plunged by a record in January.
Three straight months of more than 650,000 job losses and shrinking household wealth indicate recent gains in consumer purchases may not be enough to keep the recession from lasting through much of the year. The lack of confidence could also limit the impact of tax cuts and incentives in President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan.
"Accumulating job losses, falling home prices, rising gasoline prices, tighter credit standards, and financial-market volatility have all damped household attitudes about the economy," Steven Wood, president of Insight Economics LLC in Danville, California, said before the report.
Economists forecast confidence would rise to 28 from a previously reported record low of 25 in February, according to the median of 68 projections in a Bloomberg News survey. Estimates ranged from 21.2 to 35."
Another tough number in a market struggling to gain some footing….
Warren Buffett on the economy: "It’s fallen off a cliff"
Rasmussen: 53% say 30’s style depression is "somewhat likely"
Nancy Pelosi: "500 Million American Jobs a Month" at Risk
Jim Rogers: "This is not going to solve the problem"
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