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Job losses were higher than expected in November

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There were 533,000 job losses in the U.S. in November, increasing the unemployment rate to 6.7 percent from 6.5 percent in October, according to money.cnn.com. The year's job loss total is 1.9 million, and November showed the largest one-month decline since December 1974.

"This is a dismal jobs report," says Keith Hall, commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "There's very little in this report that is positive. This is maybe one of the worst jobs reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics (founded in 1884) has ever produced."

Economists had forecast 325,000 job losses in November. Revisions to October's job loss count brought the total from 240,000 to 320,000, and September was revised up to 403,000. As a result, the three-month job loss total was 1.3 million.

Job losses occurred in various industries, including manufacturing, construction, retail, and leisure and hospitality. However, there was hiring in some sectors in November, including 7,000 jobs gained in the government sector and 52,000 jobs gained in the education and health services sectors.

Economists believe job losses will worsen and continue through at least the first half of 2009. Support has grown for a second stimulus package backed by President-elect Barack Obama that reportedly not only would boost the economy but also would add jobs.

Meanwhile, the Bush administration is focusing on restoring liquidity to the financial system.

"We have to get the job done that we can while we have time left in office, and that is restoring credit," says Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez. "This is the key first step to restoring growth and restoring jobs."


12/10/2008

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