Everyone knows the jobs market is weak. The U.S. added a scant 18,000 in June, while the unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent from 9.0 percent in May.
Layoffs, however, are escalating in intensity, as companies shed payrolls amid economic uncertainty.
An increase in layoffs, including at big names like Cisco Systems and Lockheed Martin, is a big reason why the U.S. recorded an average of only 21,500 new jobs over the past two months, not nearly enough to bring down unemployment, The Wall Street Journal reports.
"Layoffs have played a big role [in weak job growth] over the last few months," says Mike Montgomery, an economist at IHS Global Insight, according to the Journal.
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"The soft patch is more layoffs and nothing else to pick up the slack."
Don't think companies see silver linings on an otherwise dark horizon either, other experts say.
"That they're looking to reduce staff means they don't see a pickup in demand going forward," says Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho Securities, the Journal adds.
Americans are angry with high unemployment rates, but for some reason, they're casting less blame on President Barack Obama than they would have at Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan.
A recent Gallup poll finds that 16 percent of Americans are satisfied with the country's economic progress, the lowest figure in two years, while Obama enjoys a 45 percent approval rating in a separate USA Today/Gallup poll.
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"Looking at history, particularly Clinton and Reagan, it is somewhat surprising that [Obama] has never yet fallen into the 30 percent range in our approval rating," says Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup Poll. according to the Christian Science Monitor.
"And yet both Reagan and Clinton, in their first terms when the economy was perceived as bad ... both fell into the 30s."
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