The unemployment rate isn't the only job-market measure that's souring. Corporations plan to cut more jobs and there are fewer openings.

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The unemployment rate isn’t the only job-market measure that’s souring. Corporations plan to cut more jobs and there are fewer openings.

The number of hours worked, an indicator of future hiring plans, is also weakening.

The July unemployment rate rose to 5.7 percent from 5.5 percent in June. Global Insight economists expect the rate will climb to 6.1 percent by mid-2009.

While the downturn has not officially been designated a recession, they think it could turn out to be “the mildest on record,” though it will likely be followed by a lagging recovery in the job market.