Business tumbles, the political fallout hits and tax cut talk begins
Some economists call it a free fall. To the 1.7 million people added to the jobless rolls in April and May, the U.S. economy may well seem to have toppled off a cliff or been sucked into a black hole. Whatever the metaphor, the numbers that came out last week left no doubt: not only has the long-feared recession begun but it is already shaping up as one of the worst slumps since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The key figures: