Archive for Friday, December 4, 2009

Jobless rate falls to 10 percent in November

Employers cut fewest jobs since recession began

December 4, 2009


— The unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 10 percent in November as employers cut the smallest number of jobs since the recession began. The better-than-expected job figures are a rare note of encouraging news for the labor market.

Still, the respite may be temporary. Many economists expect the unemployment rate to climb into next year as the economy struggles to generate enough jobs for the 15.4 million people out of work.

The economy shed 11,000 jobs last month, an improvement from October's revised total of 111,000, the Labor Department said Friday. That's much better than the 130,000 Wall Street economists expected.

The unemployment rate fell to 10 percent from 10.2 percent in October, where economists expected it to remain.

If part-time workers who want full time jobs and laid off workers who have given up looking for work are included, the so-called underemployment rate also fell, to 17.2 percent from 17.5 percent in October.

There was other positive news in the report. The average work week rose to 33.2 hours, from a record low of 33 hours. Economists expect employers will increase hours for their current workers before hiring new ones.

The department also increased its job estimate for September, to a loss of 139,000 from 219,000, and for last month, to 111,000 from 190,000.

Temporary help services added 52,000 jobs, the fourth straight increase. That's also positive news, as companies are likely to hire temporary workers before adding permanent ones.

The services sector gained 58,000 jobs last month, while manufacturing and construction shed 69,000 positions.

The unemployment rate fell because the number of jobless Americans dropped by 325,000 to 15.4 million. The jobless rate is calculated from a survey of households, while the number of jobs lost or gain is calculated from a separate survey of business and government establishments. The two surveys can sometimes vary.

The rate also dropped because fewer people are looking for work. The size of the labor force, which includes the employed and those actively searching for jobs, fell by nearly 100,000, the third straight decline. That indicates more of the unemployed are giving up on looking for work.

The participation rate, or the percentage of the population employed or looking for work, fell to 65 percent, the lowest since the recession began. Once laid-off people stop hunting for jobs, they are no longer counted in the unemployment rate.

The economy has now lost jobs for 23 straight months, but the small decline in November indicates the nation could begin generating jobs soon.

Yet even as layoffs are easing, the slow pace of hiring is causing headaches for political leaders. The employment report comes a day after President Barack Obama hosted a "jobs summit" at the White House, where he told economists, business executives and union leaders that he is "open to every demonstrably good idea" to create jobs.

Democrats in Congress, meanwhile, are considering legislation that would extend jobless benefits for those who have run out and help the unemployed pay for health care coverage. Those measures could cost up to $100 billion.

Jobs remain scarce even as the economy is growing slowly. The nation's dross domestic grew at a 2.8 percent pace in the July-September quarter after shrinking for a record four straight quarters. Economists expect it is growing at a similar pace in the current quarter.

Still, that may not be enough to generate large numbers of jobs. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned on Thursday that "unemployment could remain high for some time even if, as we anticipate, moderate economic growth continues."


Randall Barnes 8 years, 5 months ago


wysiwyg69 8 years, 5 months ago

What a bunch of fecal matter. The numbers the government puts out are B.S. They don't [most of the time] give all of the story, like the people that have used up all of there unemployment option , or people that just have given up. The next story will give unemployment at a much higher level because they involve all of the unemployed. I know not everyone wants to work, but they still must be part of the numbers.

mae 8 years, 5 months ago

retail season duh. this happens every year, most all of the new jobs are temporary status and look for unemployment to skyrocket mid january once returns are done.

Bryan Moore 8 years, 5 months ago

wysiwyg69 (Anonymous) says…

"What a bunch of fecal matter. The numbers the government puts out are B.S. They don't [most of the time] give all of the story, like the people that have used up all of there unemployment option , or people that just have given up. "

And this reporting differs from the way we have reported the numbers the last 5, 10, 20, 50 years? I think we started this system of calculation in the 40's (correct me if I'm wrong). They also do not include the forced early retired, the prison population, self employed, etc. So why is it just now a problem. Obama or Bush II or Clinton didn't set up the way we calculate these things. Do we want ot go back and recalculate the rates for the last 60 years so that we can reflect a more acurate picture since the 50's?

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

The internals show that that the construction and manufacturing sectors shed thousands of jobs; they were offset by growth in financial services (can we say bailed-out Wallstreet?) health care and government.

The continued loss in the private sector shows the emptiness of stimulous job growth promises. The only thing the stimuluous has stimulated has been government and Wallstreet.

georgiahawk 8 years, 5 months ago

Oh my, this is good news!

Lets just say it can't be true and dog Obama and the recovery. Lets make up our own facts to back up our agenda. Go to it, righties!

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

Total change in non-farm payroll = - 11,000

Private Sector = - 18,000 Natural Resources & Mining = - 1,000 Construction = - 27,000 Manufacturing = - 41,000 Durable goods = - 33,000 Non-durable goods = - 8,000 Services = + 58,000 Wholesale Trade = - 11,700 Retail Trade = - 14,500 Transportation & Warehousing = - 5,300 Utilities = - 2,400 Information & Media = - 17,000 Financial Svcs & Real Estate = - 10,000 Professional & Business Svcs = + 86,000 Education = + 11,100 Health Svcs = + 28,100 Leisure = - 11,000 Government = + 7,000

MyName 8 years, 5 months ago


Also, if you'd have RTFA, you'd have seen where they did mentioned that the "underemployment rate also fell, to 17.2 percent from 17.5 percent in October."

Godot 8 years, 5 months ago

I correct my comment about "financial services" growing - instead it was business and professional services (accountants, lawyers, lobbyists, etc.) This data is misleading, as well, in that growth in education jobs is not included in "governemnt." And I am sure that many of the "healthcare" jobs are government, as well.

The fact is, the loss of jobs in the private sector continues unabated.

newmedia 8 years, 5 months ago

Anyone ever think about the seasonal hiring in November and December. Wait until you see the January/February numbers !! Hope and Change...

David Albertson 8 years, 5 months ago

It's funny how all the righties are blasting the president because we are in a recession. Like it was his fault. They like to blast him because of the stimulus. If there was no stimulus package they'd be whining that he's not doing enough. If he cut taxes they'd blast him because the deficit needs to be paid down. It doesn't matter what he does, they will blast him because that's all they can do. This economy is the result of deregulation that started in the 80's under Reagan and continued in to the Bush administration. While the banks were handing out zero down payment mortgages to people with a 500 credit score, the republican controlled congress and whitehouse sat back and did nothing. They believed the markets would regulate themselves. Well they were right, this is the market correcting/regulating itself. Bubble's are the result of unregulated markets. It's not good for the economy, big business, small business or the consumer. This is not Obama's fault people, if you want to place blame, place it where it belongs. On the leaders of the past 25 years.

David Albertson 8 years, 5 months ago

So how does congress set gas prices? I don't see the connection?

beawolf 8 years, 5 months ago

"Scum like you make me sick."... Defender, tell us how you really feel. That said, I agree with your evaluation. I've been stating it quite often. The only way Republicans can gain back credibility is to hope the US economy does not recover. Take any of the following positives and the Republicans will find something to dispute.

Stimulus money is beginning to show impact, bailout money is being paid back, jobless and unemployment figures stabilizing and slowly getting back on course, new home sales on the rise, real estate prices stabilizing and in some areas increasing, foreclosures decreasing, and the DOW (and my 401K) are doing very well.

ChrisNyberg 8 years, 5 months ago

Bring the troops home now. End the Fed. No payroll tax or income tax. Less regulation. End the welfare state. Let free market prevail. Ron Paul 2012

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