According to a report released by the Labor Department , the amount of jobless claims increased by 101,000 jobless workers bringing the total amount of unemployed to 4.61 million unemployed workers. It is predicted by some experts that the number of jobless workers will increase drastically if major steps are not taken to boost the economy.

The problem is not simply one of jobs being shed; but jobs not being replaced and the near impossibility of unemployed workers finding new jobs. Already, with only a few days in 2009 behind us, major companies have experienced massive job losses. Cigna Corp., Alcoa, Inc., EMC Corp. and Alcoa have all announced large job losses the first week of 2009. It is estimated that the U.S. has experienced a total of 2.4 million job losses in 2008 alone, which is the highest number of job losses since 1945. More job losses are expected to send the national unemployment rate soaring to 7 percent, the highest level of unemployment since 1993.

With the unabated number of job losses, we can expect to see many businesses suffer, especially retailers. Already, retailers are scaling back as they try to recover from a dismal Holiday sales season. This ripple effect in the economy will mean less spending and less jobs especially in the retail sector.