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NABE: Worst business conditions since report’s inception

The National Association of Business Economics will be releasing a survey report on Monday that indicates the US is suffering from the worst business conditions since the NABE report’s inception in 1982.  And more job cuts are ahead.  Locally, job losses have been staggering, with 20,000 jobs lost last year and another 22,300 projected lost jobs for 2009.

The recession, which started in December 2007, and is expected to stretch into this year, has been a job killer. The economy lost 2.6 million jobs last year, the most since 1945. The unemployment rate jumped to 7.2 percent in December, the highest in 16 years, and is expected to keep climbing.

“Job losses accelerated in the fourth quarter, and the employment outlook for the next six months has weakened further,” said Sara Johnson, NABE’s lead analyst on the survey and an economist at IHS Global Insight.

Just last week, Microsoft Corp. said it will slash up to 5,000 jobs over the next 18 months. Intel Corp. said it will cut up to 6,000 manufacturing jobs and United Airlines parent UAL Corp. said it would get rid of 1,000 jobs, on top of 1,500 axed late last year.

Many analysts predict the economy will have contracted at a pace of 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter when the government releases that report on Friday. If they are correct, that would mark the worst performance since a 6.4 percent drop in the first quarter of 1982. The economy is still contracting now — at a pace of around 4 percent, according to some projections. [Times Union]

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