The price of oil dropped $3 on Monday to just below $64 a barrel, following last week's dismal unemployment figures, according to the Associated Press. Some experts believe oil prices could fall further, erasing some of the increases of the past few months, and lowering gasoline prices for the rest of the summer. The price drop was fueled by a surge in the national jobless rate in June to 9.5 percent, the highest rate in 26 years. Unemployment in the 16 countries that use the euro also rose to 9.5 percent in May.
The US has lost 6.5 million jobs since the recession officially began in December 2007, lowering the national employment figure to 2000 levels. The Chron reported that it was the first time since the Great Depression that an economic downturn had wiped out all of the job gains from the previous boom cycle. The high national and international jobless rates also fueled speculation that California's unemployment rate, already at its highest peak in nearly seventy years, had risen above 11.2 percent. The state's June figures will be announced later this month.