According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payroll employment declined by 3,445,000 from December 2007 through December 2008.
The collapse in employment is across the board.
Construction lost 520,000 jobs. Manufacturing lost 806,000 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities lost 1,495,000 jobs (retail trade accounted for 1,120,000 of this loss). Financial activities lost 145,000 jobs. Professional and business services lost 713,000 jobs. Even government lost 188,000 jobs.
Only in health care and social assistance has the economy been able to eke out a few new jobs.
Many analysts believe the job losses will be as great or greater during 2009. Moreover, the reported job losses are likely understated. Noted statistician John Williams (shadowstats.com) reports that biases in measurement have understated the job loss over the last 12 months by 1,150,000 jobs.
Williams also notes that the official unemployment rate is an enormous understatement, due in part to the Clinton administration's decision not to count as unemployed those discouraged workers who have been without jobs for more than one year. Williams reports the unemployment rate as it was measured prior to "reforms" designed to minimize the measured rate of unemployment. According to the methodology used in 1980, the US unemployment rate in December 2008 reached 17.5 percent.
Yes, "our" government lies to us about economic statistics, just as it lies to us about "terrorists," "weapons of mass destruction," "building freedom and democracy in the Middle East," and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
An objective person would be hard pressed to find any statement made by the US government that is reliable.
The collapse of the job market means even harder times for last year's and this year's crops of college graduates. The offshoring of professional jobs and the widespread use by US corporations of H-1b, L-1, and other work visa programs for foreigners have left many recent American university graduates without careers.
Recently, Bill Gates of Microsoft was pleading with Congress to allow even more foreigners in on work visas. According to Gates, there is a shortage of American workers despite a 17.5 percent unemployment rate. I personally know American computer engineers, both seasoned and recent graduates, who cannot find jobs.
What Gates and American corporations want is cheap labor, in effect indentured servants, unprotected people who don't demand an American standard of living and who have no student loans to repay.
If Congress expands the work visas as US unemployment mounts, we will have one more piece of evidence that "our" representatives have no sympathy for the American people.
Where were America's leaders while the economy slipped over the precipice?
Our leaders were telling us lies in behalf of special interests into whose pockets Washington was pouring the taxpayers' money.
Our leaders engineered wars that put billions of dollars into such disreputable pockets as Halliburton's, the firm of the American outlaw, Dick Cheney, and into Blackwater, supplier of the overpaid mercenaries that the Bush Regime uses to beef up its military force in Iraq. Some of the taxpayers' billions, of course, recycled into "our" representatives reelection campaign funds.
Our leaders were too busy making trips to Israel to reaffirm their support for Israel's ongoing theft of Palestine and for wars that enable this theft.