WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama predicted more grim economic news when the government releases its January employment data on Friday.
“Tomorrow, we’re expecting another dismal jobs report on top of the 2.6 million jobs that we lost last year,” Obama said during a visit to the Department of Energy on Thursday.
Private economists in a Reuters poll predicted the January employment report would show U.S. employers slashed another 525,000 workers from their payrolls after cutting 524,000 jobs in December.
The report is due out at 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT) on Friday.
If the poll proves correct, it would be the third straight month that employers have shed in excess of half a million workers. The unemployment rate is predicted to jump to 7.5 percent, which would be the highest since August 1992, up from 7.2 percent in December.
Obama discussed the deteriorating job market as he pushed for passage of a roughly $800 billion stimulus package that is under consideration in Congress.
“We know that if we do not act, a bad situation will become dramatically worse. Crisis could turn into catastrophe for families and businesses across the country,” Obama said.
Reporting by Caren Bohan; Editing by David Wiessler