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June Estimate: 60,000 U.S. Jobs Lost


Investors around the globe are keeping an eye on a key economic report due out from the U.S. government today. Analysts expect the monthly employment report will show a loss of about 60,000 jobs. It could be the sixth straight decline this year. NPR's Frank Langfitt reports.

FRANK LANGFITT: When government data comes out today, analysts expect a majority of the losses will come in the usually weak areas - construction and manufacturing. But as the economies worsen this year, consumers have cut back on spending. And the pain in job losses has spread into the service sector.

John Silvia is chief economist with Wachovia. He says the ripple effects are easy to see.

Mr. JOHN SILVIA (Wachovia): You can walk into most apparel stores in the United States today and there's a sale. And you can look into a lot of restaurants and you see a lot more coupons being offered.

LANGFITT: Silvia says some businesses have tried to avoid layoffs, but as the economy worsens, they've been left with no choice.

Mr. SILVIA: You hold on for as long as can. Business doesn't turn up, it doesn't improve, and you say, well, we're just going to have to cut this area, we're going to have to cut this division.

LANGFITT: Silvia cites Starbucks as an example. Earlier this week, the company said it would close a total of 600 stores and eliminate up to 12,000 jobs. The cutbacks seem in part a response to overexpansion, but analysts also suggested the move was an acknowledgement that the $4.00 frappuccino is a tougher sell in the age of $4.00 a gallon gas.

Frank Langfitt, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Frank Langfitt is NPR's London correspondent. He covers the UK and Ireland, as well as stories elsewhere in Europe.