Unemployment Figures Continue To Soar

unemployment12051The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics released its November 2008 “Employment Situation” report this morning.

According to the Bureau’s report, America’s labor market continues to lose jobs at an alarming rate, a clear sign that the recession that began in December of 2007 is worsening with each passing month.

Thus far, in 2008, 1.9 million jobs have been lost. Two-thirds of those have been lost the last three months.

In November, 553,000 non-farm payroll jobs were lost and the unemployment rate climbed from 6.5% to 6.7%, the highest it has been since October 1993.

The 6.7% unemployment rate represents 10.3 million American workers.

The under-employment rate – the broadest and most comprehensive measure of weakness in the job market, which includes part-time workers who want to work full-time but cannot find the work – climbed to 12.5%.

The total number of unemployed and under-employed workers in the United States now stands at 19.6 million people, or one in every eight people in the labor market.

Among the businesses and industries losing big numbers this month were:

  • Retail – 91,000
  • Manufacturing – 85,000
  • Construction – 82,00
  • Professional services (office jobs, temps, legal services) – 78,000
  • Leisure and hospitality – 76,000
  • Transportation and warehousing – 32,000
  • Vehicle and parts dealers – 27,000
  • Motor vehicle and parts manufacturers – 13,100

We are, of course, watching and waiting to see what is going to happen with respect to the Big 3 auto manufacturers and the bail-out that they are appealing for.

To end on a positive note, the Bureau does report that health care employment grew by 34,000 in November. A total of 369,000 health care jobs have been added to the market over the past 12 months.

You can read the Bureaus’ report here.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has published an article by Chad Stone that gives a very concise overview of the BLS employment report. In the concluding paragraph of the report, Mr. Stone says,

“As the Congress and President-elect Obama prepare an economic recovery package, it is important to remember that support for unemployed workers and those with limited means not only helps those hit hardest in a recession but is among the most effective and fast-acting ways to help arrest an economic contraction and turn the economy around.”

Read the CBPP article here.

The Associated Press also published a helpful article on today’s report that you might find interesting. It is entitled, “Half-million jobs vanish as economy deteriorates.” Read it here.

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