Even on Inauguration Day, companies continued to announce layoffs, reinforcing the economic challenges facing Barack Obama as he takes office.
Bank of America may slash as much as 4,000 jobs as it absorbs Merrill Lynch, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.
Rohm and Haas and Cerberus Capital Management also announced big cuts in staffing.
Analysts believe the job cuts are far from over.
“The experience of previous deep recessions suggests (jobless) claims are nowhere near their peak, and we doubt that peak will be reached before the fall of this year,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist for consulting firm High Frequency Economics.
Shepherdson said in a research note that weekly jobless claims could reach 750,000 later this year.