November: Most jobs lost in 34 years
WASHINGTON — The US economy lost a stunning 533,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate jumped to a 15-year high of 6.7 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.
The monthly report on non-farm payrolls, seen as one of the best indicators of economic momentum, highlighted the severe retrenchment by companies in the face of a struggling economy and tight credit.
The number of job losses was much higher than the 325,000 expected by private forecasters.
The report also included a sharp upward revision in the number of job losses in the prior two months: October saw a loss of 403,000 jobs (up from an earlier estimate of 240,00) and September job losses were revised up to 320,000 from 284,000.
Robert Brusca at FAO Economics said the figures “are really weak and point to a marked drop in GDP,” or gross domestic product.
The jobless rate, based on a separate survey of households, was the highest since October 1993 but slightly better than the consensus estimate of economists of 6.8 percent.
The agency noted that since the official onset of recession in December 2007, some 2.7 million jobs have been lost, and the unemployment rate rose by 1.7 percentage points.
In November, the report showed a loss of 85,000 jobs in manufacturing, bringing the total in the sector to 604,000 over the past 12 months, despite a return of 27,000 aerospace workers from strike.
Employment in the retail sector fell by 91,000, and the leisure and hospitality sector shed 76,000 jobs.
The troubled financial sector shed 32,000 jobs in month, bringing the 12-month total losses to 142,000.
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