"There is no sign of even a temporary easing in the downward pressure on employment," he said. 

Since the US economy fell into recession in  December 2007, the nation's unemployment rate has skyrocketed. Over 4 million jobs have been lost.

The unemployment rate has hit 8.1 per cent, the highest level in 25 years. Economists warn it could reach 10 per cent by the end of this year.

More job losses were announced this week.

Caterpillar said it would lay off 2,400 workers as global demand for its mining and construction machines slumps.

Mobile device maker Nokia said it would cut 1,700 jobs worldwide.