U.S. Loses 533,000 Jobs in November
The US nation’s employers shed 533,000 jobs in November, the 11th consecutive monthly decline, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. Not since December 1974, toward the end of a severe recession, have so many jobs disappeared in a single month, and the current recession appears to be just gathering steam.
“We are caught in a downward spiral in which employment, incomes and spending are collapsing together,” said Nigel Gault, chief domestic economist for HIS Global Insight. “With private spending frozen, we have no choice but to rely on a stimulus package to revive the economy.”
The unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent, up just two-tenths of a percentage point from October, but six-tenths over the last three months. More significantly, the unemployment rate does not include all those too discouraged to look for work any longer or those working fewer hours than they would like. That “underutilization” rate, as the bureau calls it, rose to a record 12.5 percent in November, up 1.5 percentage points since September.
Noting that 1.9 million jobs have been lost since the start of the current recession a year ago, President-elect Barack Obama invoked public spending as the best way to get a dead-in-the-water economy moving again. “This painful crisis,” he said in a statement, is an opportunity “to improve the lives of ordinary people by rebuilding roads and modernizing schools for our children,” and investing in clean energy solutions.
The latest job numbers were stark evidence of the breakdown in consumer spending and business investment. Jobs disappeared from every sector of the economy except health care and state government, which mainly hired more educators.
“We have gone from recession into something that looks more like collapse,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief domestic economist at High Frequency Economics, referring to the accelerating job losses in recent months.
The job losses in November far exceeded the 350,000 figure that was the consensus expectation of economists.
Thanks: Ny Times.