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Unemployment rate drops to 10 percent in November

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The U.S. unemployment rate unexpectedly fell from 10.2 percent in October to 10 percent in November—the biggest drop since April 1998—with employers cutting 11,000 jobs. Analysts were expecting a decline of 123,000 jobs.

The improvement is attributed in part to companies hiring temporary workers; the number of temporary workers increased 52,400 in November. The number of unemployed people fell 325,000 to 15.4 million.

Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revised October job losses from 190,000 to 111,000 and September job losses from 219,000 to 139,000.

Some economists believe November's falling unemployment rate could mean the U.S. will start to gain jobs earlier than expected. Others remain cautious, believing though the trend is positive, estimated job losses might be low and job losses could continue for several months.

The number of those unemployed six months or longer hit a new high of 5.9 million, or 38.3 percent of the jobless.

In November, construction companies cut 27,000 jobs compared with 62,000 jobs in October. Additionally, manufacturing cut 41,000 jobs and retail cut 14,500 jobs.

In November, the services sector gained 58,000 jobs; health care sector added 21,000 jobs; and government sector added 7,000 jobs.


12/7/2009

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