Unemployment Sounds Warning About Economy – New York Times
The unemployment rate surged to 5 percent in December as the economy added a meager 18,000 jobs, the smallest monthly increase in four years, the Labor Department reported on Friday.
Economists viewed the report as the most powerful indication to date that the United States could well be falling into a recessionary downturn. Evidence of widening unemployment heightened anticipation that the Federal Reserve would further cut interest rates this month, perhaps by an unusually large half a percentage point, in a bid to prevent the economy from sliding into the muck.
“This is unambiguously negative,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com. “The economy is on the edge of recession, if we’re not already engulfed in one.”