According to an article in the Star-Telegram, the number of jobless workers claiming unemployment reached an all-time high of nearly 5 million.

The article said:

The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of people receiving regular unemployment benefits rose 170,000 to 4.99 million for the week ending Feb. 7, marking the fourth straight week those receiving benefits have been at a record level on data going back to 1967 ..An additional 1.5 million people are receiving benefits under an extended unemployment compensation program approved by Congress last year, bringing the total number of people receiving unemployment benefits to 6.54 million for the week ending Feb. 7.

The massive amount of job losses has been devastating and these figures only represent the number of jobless workers who actually qualify for unemployment insurance. The true unemployment rate is much higher. With job losses this high, we may soon see a severe reduction in the salaries of those still employed and layoffs of higher paid employees who will be replaced by those willing to work for less.

This is not good for the long-term health of the economy, let alone the short term. If we begin to see severe salary and benefits reductions of those currently employed, we will also experience an increase in foreclosures, delinquencies, loan defaults and eventually personal bankruptcy. People simply cannot support their former lifestyles with less money and less security.