The U.S. economy is being hit by soaring job losses and record-high mortgage defaults as the recession deepens in the world's largest economy.
A government report on Friday says there was a net loss of 533-thousand jobs in November -- the worst decline in 34 years. The figure means the U.S. has shed one-point-nine million jobs so far this year.
U.S. President George Bush says he is very concerned about the flood of workers who lost jobs recently, and worried that some U.S. auto companies might not survive. Mr. Bush said his administration is working to deal with the causes of the problem -- the housing market collapse and tight credit. He said the credit market is beginning to recover. President-elect Barack Obama vowed to respond to the economic situation with "urgent resolve," but warned it will take time to fix the problem.
More evidence of the economic crisis came from an industry group that says one out of 10 U.S. homeowners with a mortgage was either behind on payments or in foreclosure at the end of September. That is the worst showing since the Mortgage Bankers Association started keeping such records three decades ago.
Meantime, U.S. auto industry executives spent another day on Capitol Hill pleading for government loans. Mr. Bush urged Congress to act promptly on the issue, but said he is concerned about the "viability" of the companies that want to receive financial help from the taxpayers. Executives from Ford, Chrysler and General Motors appeared before the House Financial Services Committee, seeking up to 34 billion dollars in government aid. The companies, and the autoworkers union, have warned that without a government loan, millions of jobs could be lost. GM announced today it is laying off another two-thousand workers in North America.Congress could vote on the aid to automakers when it returns for a brief post-election session next week.