Friday, April 3, 2009
Employers are laying off workers at a faster pace.
The latest news comes despite a few hopeful signs recently that the recession -- now the longest since World War II -- could be easing.
The Labor Department on Friday is slated to release a report expected to show that a net total of 654,000 jobs were lost last month.
If economists are right, it would mark a record four straight months that job losses topped 600,000.
The nation's unemployment rate is expected to jump to 8.5 percent, from 8.1% in February. If that happens, it would mark the highest jobless rate since late 1983. That's when the country was recovering from a severe recession that drove unemployment past 10%.
Economists expect monthly job losses continuing for most, if not all, of this year.