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In the rich world the job losses are starkest in America, where the recession began. Its flexible labour market has shed 4.4m jobs since the downturn began in December 2007, including more than 600,000 in each of the past three months. The unemployment rate jumped to 8.1% in February, the highest in a quarter-century. An American who loses his job today has less of a chance of finding another one than at any time since records began half a century ago. That is especially worrying when the finances of many households have come to depend on two full incomes.

But it is already clear that unemployment will strike hard far beyond America and Britain. In Japan output is plunging faster than in other rich economies. Although unemployment is low, rapid job losses among Japan’s army of temporary workers are exposing the unfairness of a two-tier labour market.

In Europe joblessness has grown fastest in places such as Spain and Ireland, where building booms have crashed, but has only begun to edge up elsewhere. The unemployment rates in many European countries are below America’s, but that may be because their more rigid labour markets adjust more slowly to falling demand. Given how fast European economies are shrinking, nobody doubts that worse lies ahead. By the end of 2010, unemployment in much of the rich world is likely to be above 10%.

In the emerging world the pattern will be different, but the outcome more painful. As trade shrinks, millions of workers are losing their foothold on the bottom rungs of the global supply chain. Poverty will rise as they sink into informal work or move back to the land. The World Bank expects some 53m people to fall below the level of extreme poverty this year.

The Economist March 2009

Translate the text into Russian. № 2.9

Us factory orders miss expectations

Orders placed at US factories increased less than expected in December as a fall in non-durable goods hung over gains in aircraft, construction equipment and computers.

Booking rose 1.8 per cent following a downwardly revised 0.3 per cent decline in November, commerce department data showed on Monday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast a 2.4 per cent increase.

Demand for durable goods, those meant to last at least three years, rose 4.3 per cent.

The increase reflected strong gains for military and civilian aircraft, up 56.4 per cent and 10.1 per cent respectively.

A 12.2 per cent increase in construction equipment and 6.4 per cent rise in computers also boosted gains in durable good orders.

Orders for non-durable goods such as petroleum products, chemicals and paper edged 0.3 per cent lower.

Non-defence capital goods orders, excluding aircraft and including items such as computers, engines and communications gear – a category considered a proxy for business investment plans – fell 0.3 per cent in December. But this followed strong gains of 3.3 per cent and 3 per cent the prior two months.

Shipments of these goods, used in calculating gross domestic product, climbed 0.2 per cent.

The overall economy contracted in the October-December quarter at an annual rate of 0.1 per cent, the first negative reading since the recession neared an end in the summer of 2009. Even as other parts of the economy, such as housing, showed strength, a decline in defence spending, slower business stockpiling and a drop in exports led the decline.

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