The Labor Department on March 7, reported the economy lost 63,000 payroll jobs in February, after losing 22,000 jobs in January.
Manufacturing lost 52,000 jobs in Feburay bringing losses over the past 12 months to 299,000. Most of the February decline was concentrated in durable goods manufacturing, as motor vehicles and parts (-13,000), furniture and related products (-6,000) and wood products (-5,000) lost jobs.
The government added 38,000 jobs and private sector employment contracted 101,000.
"These poor jobs data are the strongest evidence yet that the economic expansion has ended. The economy has slipped into a recession of uncertain depth and duration," said Peter Morici, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Business.
"The Labor Department reported a slight decrease in the unemployment rate to 4.8%. However, this statistic was greatly affected by the fact that so many adults have become discouraged and have stopped looking for work. Factoring in the decline in the number of adults participating in the labor force, the unemployment rate is closer to 6.8%," explained Morici.