Economist on Crisis: It's a Bloodbath

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WASHINGTON - New numbers released this morning more clearly reveal the extent of the economic crisis. One economist calls it a "bloodbath."

Pink Slips Pile Up

David Timmons worked for Kodak in Rochester, New York for 33 years before getting laid off in March.

"We went through it so many times waiting to see if our number was going to be called. When they finally said this was it, it was a huge relief," Timmons recalled.

Kodak is just one of a handful of companies that handed out thousands of pink slips in recent days, bringing the number of jobs lost to nearly 100,000 just this week.

"With all the pressure coming from this economy, we're seeing layoffs come in record numbers," said Gray and Christmas CEO John Challenger.

An 'All Collar' Recession

It's the worst report since 1982 - the last time America found itself in a severe recession.

"There really is nowhere to hide," said Chief Economist Diane Swonk, "and the feeling of it hitting not just blue collar workers or white collar workers, no collar workers: this is an all-collar recession."

As jobs disappear, consumers are cutting back on spending, thus creating more job losses - grim indicators that continue feeding on each other.

This month the number of Americans collecting jobless benefits hit a 25-year high.

And it's not only unemployment. New home sales fell nearly 15 percent last month as builders posted their worst annual sales in more than 20 years.

So, when will Americans get relief?

Recovery Package

The Obama administration is working on getting its relief package through the Senate, including possibly adding more tax cuts to gain Republican support for the bill that could reach $900 billion.

No matter how it comes, many Americans are praying for relief as they work to find answers to their questions.

"What's going to happen to me?" asked Timmons. "What's going to happen tomorrow?"

It's likely more Americans will join the ranks of the unemployed in the months ahead as the economy struggles to regain its strength.

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Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News Washington Correspondent

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