Employers cut 467,000 jobs in June, far more than expected, and the jobless rate hit a 26-year high of 9.5 percent. Just as worrisome, wages shrank to their lowest in nearly a year.
The bleak news Thursday from the Labor Department underscored one of the big threats to an economic turnaround: Rising joblessness and falling wages for those still working could send Americans back into spending hibernation and short-circuit any recovery.
President Barack Obama acknowledged concern. "What we're still seeing is too many jobs lost, too many families who are worried about whether they're going to be next in terms of job loss, or whether they can find another," he told The Associated Press.
The falling wages come from furloughs, pay freezes and pay cuts imposed by employers across the country. Many also have cut hours: The average work week in June fell to 33 hours, the lowest on records dating to 1964.
Comment: I understand that the bank stress tests were based on a worst case 8.5% (but I cannot find the article for reference)