March job losses push total number above 5 million

Job losses for the month of March numbered 663,000, and construction lost another 161,000 jobs. This brings the overall unemployment rate to 8.5%, although in the construction sector it is now at 22.3%. In total, more than 5 million jobs have been lost in 16 months. Meanwhile, firms in some sectors such as utilities, health care and government see the current recession as hiring opportunities.

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