According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, the number of workers receiving unemployment benefits dropped by 148,000 to 6.69 million; but 50 percent of those workers had exhausted their unemployment benefits without finding work.

The article said:

The report shows that job losses are easing after companies made deep cuts earlier this year. But nearly half of recipients at the end of last month had exhausted the 26 weeks of benefits provided under the regular state program without finding work, according to Labor Department data. That’s a record and compared with about 36 percent in December 2007, when the recession began.

Those unemployed workers who did not find work will receive benefits under the emergency unemployment benefits program. Many experts are hoping that the drop in jobless workers receiving unemployment benefits is a sign that the rate of job losses in decreasing.

But I’m not sure if that outlook is realistic. More companies are succumbing to bankruptcy every month and other industries such as the travel industry are poised to face a slew of bankruptcies if consumer sentiment doesn’t improve. Whether those bankrupt companies liquidate or restructure debt, job losses will most likely be part of the plan, adding more unemployed to the jobless rolls.

Also, many companies not jet in bankruptcy are implementing job losses. MySpace, the online social networking site, recently announced that it’s cutting 30 percent of its workforce or 420 jobs. It is job losses like this that can’t be directly predicted; but they can be expected in this economic environment.