Nightly News | August 03, 2011
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: We got another indicator of the extent of the jobs problem across the country today. A stunning jump in layoffs, which is the last thing you want to hear if you're unemployed or in a small business struggling to get by. NBC 's John Yang has our report from Chicago .
JOHN YANG reporting: The more than 66,000 new job cuts announced in July were the most layoffs since March 2010 , when the impact of the recession was hitting full force. More than half came from just five companies, including defense giant Lockheed Martin ; Merck , one of the world's biggest drugmakers; and electronics giant Cisco Systems , all industries that had been going strong.
Source: Challenger Gray Christmas
Mr. JOHN CHALLENGER (Challenger, Gray Christmas CEO): These big layoffs are putting more fear into everybody. That's reducing job security , consumer confidence, and that's not good for the economy.
Mr. STEVE CORNELL: Did you need some help, sir?
YANG: Things aren't much better at small businesses, like Brownies Hardware in San Francisco . It survived the 1906 earthquake and fire, but second generation owner Steve Cornell worries about surviving this economy.
Mr. CORNELL: And sometimes I lose sleep at night wondering will I be able to fund my payroll tomorrow and how can I do it? I don't want one of those checks to bounce.
YANG: A new survey out today from the National Small Business Association found that 88 percent of business owners expect the economy to be flat or in a recession over the next 12 months. Only 29 percent say they expect to hire in that time.
Mr. KEITH ASHMUS (National Small Business Association Former President): Because they're not hiring, individuals don't see the chances for them to get jobs in the future, so they're not spending.
Ms. SHARON TAYTRO: I got a great resume.
YANG: Sharon Taytro 's been out of work since January 2010 . Her unemployment benefits run out in six weeks.
Ms. TAYTRO: I have to remain positive and be able to write cover letters and promote myself and try and get a job and not be in the fetal position on the floor crying my eyes out like I'm tempted to do.
YANG: Without her benefits, she doesn't know how she'll pay her rent or buy food.
Ms. TAYTRO: You kind of grow up thinking that if you're a good person and you work hard and you're honest, that things will just work out.
YANG: Analysts say there is growing evidence that this economy is at a tipping point that could continue on this two steps forward, one step back recovery, or it could slip back into a recession. Brian :
WILLIAMS: John Yang in Chicago tonight . John , thanks.