US Employment Drops in a Pink Slip Blizzard

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a shower of pink slips, U.S. employers cut jobs last month for the first time in more than four years, the starkest signal yet that the economy is grinding to a halt if it hasn’t already toppled into recession.

Conditions are deteriorating, according to the latest employment snapshot by the Labor Department, which showed nervous employers slicing payrolls by 17,000. The country hadn’t seen such a nationwide job loss since 2003, when employers were still struggling to recover from the last previous recession.”We are certainly on thin ice,” said John Silvia, chief economist at Wachovia. And even President Bush, normally a cheerleader for the economy, said there were “serious signs” it was weakening.

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