Mounting Layoffs a Sign of a Deepening Economic Downturn

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The US is expected to lose 200,000 jobs this month and unemployment, now 6.1 percent, could rise to 7 or 8 percent. Xerox, Coca-Cola, Whirlpool, Merck and Yahoo are laying off workers, as are most of the airlines. But cuts are expected to hit the auto industry hardest of all. Cars are not selling, and unemployment in Michigan has already reached 9 percent. Even if General Motors and Chrysler merge, jobs will be lost, and if one of the Big Three goes bankrupt the ripple effect could be in the millions. Will Washington bail out another industry? Would another stimulus package invigorate the economy? Can money to be found in defense cuts? We look at those issues today as rising unemployment adds to the income inequality that separates Americans from each other.




Warren Olney