Unemployment rises to 9.8%, only 39,000 jobs gained

posted at 8:45 am on December 3, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The unemployment rate edged closer to double digits in November according to the new release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, moving up two tenths of a point to 9.8%.  The private sector showed disappointing results, gaining only 39,000 jobs after a report yesterday from ADP suggested much higher gains.  A drop in retail employment suggests an ominous trend for this holiday season:

The unemployment rate edged up to 9.8 percent in November, and nonfarm payroll employment was little changed (+39,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Temporary help services and health care continued to add jobs over the month, while employment fell in retail trade. Employment in most major industries changed little in November. …

Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs rose by 390,000 to 9.5 million in November. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 6.3 million and accounted for 41.9 percent of the unemployed. (See tables A-11 and A-12.)

The civilian labor force participation rate held at 64.5 percent in November, and the employment-population ratio was essentially unchanged at 58.2 percent. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed over the month at 9.0 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

About 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in November, up from 2.3 million a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 1.3 million discouraged workers in November, an increase of 421,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.2 million persons marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Department stores lost 9,000 jobs, and furniture and home furnishings stores lost 5,000.  The latter may be part of the fallout from poor performance in home sales as well as weakness in retail sales.  Manufacturing dropped 13,000 jobs.  Wage growth was also flat in November across the board.

The increase in the overall rate appears linked directly to job losses rather than a return to the workforce of discouraged workers.  Those numbers have actually increased slightly year on year.  When they begin entering the workforce again, the overall rate will rise even higher, even if the overall job creation numbers improve.  That isn’t what happened in November.

Update: Reuters reports that the numbers were, well ….

U.S. employment increased far less than expected in November and the jobless rate jumped to a seven-month high of 9.8 percent, dampening hopes for a self-sustaining economic recovery.

Nonfarm payrolls rose 39,000, with private hiring gaining only 50,000, the Labor Department said. However, overall employment for September and October was revised to show 38,000 more jobs than previously estimated.

Economists had expected payrolls to increase 140,000 last month and the unemployment rate to be unchanged at 9.6 percent.

To be fair, I also expected similar numbers after seeing the ADP report yesterday; I was thinking closer to +150K and 9.6%.  Also, I changed the headline for accuracy, as overall employment increased by 39,000 jobs, but the private sector added 50,000; the difference came in reductions in government jobs.


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Was it Truman or Ike?

joeindc44 on December 3, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Truman. Ike was after him.

Dark-Star on December 3, 2010 at 1:28 PM

Was it Truman or Ike?

joeindc44 on December 3, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Truman. Ike was after him.

I mean, which one was more, ah, friendly to the markets?

joeindc44 on December 3, 2010 at 1:31 PM

I mean, which one was more, ah, friendly to the markets?

joeindc44 on December 3, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Depends who you ask.

Truman continued a period of near-zero unemployment, things being invented at a whirlwind rate, and factories going 24/7 across the nation…

Although he did it with MASSIVE government spending on the military, using the draft, having the civilian sector live on government rations for everything from tires to food, and of course was at war with a good portion of the planet.

*shrugs* He certainly was friendly to some markets.

Dark-Star on December 3, 2010 at 1:37 PM

The Bamster just took a baseball bat to the oil industry in our country. Anyone see a connection?

slickwillie2001 on December 3, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Truman continued a period of near-zero unemployment, things being invented at a whirlwind rate, and factories going 24/7 across the nation…

Truman governed during that period followed by Ike. FDR also instituted the broad income tax which was supposed to be both temporary and voluntary.

Private manufacturing was the key. We don’t have that so much now.

What we have now is a bloated piggish government, that needs to be reduced in size very dramatically.

dogsoldier on December 3, 2010 at 2:05 PM

Does anyone here understand the difference between jobs created and net jobs created? Because the numbers are easily confused.

bayam on December 3, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Do you understand the difference between facts and spin (“Jobs saved”, for example; or the opinions of the “economists” you are fond of)?

Because they’re easily confused.

In fact, creating confusion is the real objective …

RedPepper on December 3, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Private manufacturing was the key. We don’t have that so much now.

dogsoldier on December 3, 2010 at 2:05 PM

Um, that private manufacturing was literally being told what they could make, and in not a few cases the conversions were pretty drastic.

But I agree that we don’t have that now…the saddest thing is we’ve willingly thrown it away for foreign pauper manufacturing.

Dark-Star on December 3, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Private manufacturing was the key. We don’t have that so much now.

dogsoldier on December 3, 2010 at 2:05 PM

Um, that private manufacturing was literally being told what they could make, and in not a few cases the conversions were pretty drastic.

But I agree that we don’t have that now…the saddest thing is we’ve willingly thrown it away for foreign pauper manufacturing.

Let’s not get too misty eyed. A lot of that manufacturing in the immediate post WWII era was immediately turned off. No more contracts for tanks and bombers. Second, with respect to “pauper” manufacturing, there was no competition with foreign countries because all the relevant countries were bombed into rubble.

The pivot, such as it was, from Shermans to Edsels or whatever was key. When did this stuff start making things that people could buy. The markets must have been loosened at some point to allow hiring of newly returned soldiers. Probably Ike, based on my biases. There probably was a time gap where Truman was trying to figure out what to do with returning soldiers.

PJ O’Rourke made this point about misty eyed union guys lamenting the good old days where you’d pull down $50K a year for pushing a button in a car plant working 3 hour shifts or some such post bellum nonsense. The reality is that protectionism don’t work and in order to charge more, you need a better product.

joeindc44 on December 3, 2010 at 2:23 PM

bayam on December 3, 2010 at 12:05 PM

You really should post in these Econ threads more. It’s a shock to the system for these guys when someone shows up who actually knows what they’re taking about.

crr6 on December 3, 2010 at 3:14 PM

bayam on December 3, 2010 at 12:05 PM

You really should post in these Econ threads more. It’s a shock to the system for these guys when someone shows up who actually knows what they’re taking about.

Indeed, we spend too much time listening to Palin and not enough time talking about the alleged wisdom of the editors of Barron’s, so we cain’t make much of this mumbo jumbo about the key to recovery being opening up a $2trillion deficit in a year.

joeindc44 on December 3, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Indeed, we spend too much time listening to Palin and not enough time talking about the alleged wisdom of the editors of Barron’s, so we cain’t make much of this mumbo jumbo.

joeindc44 on December 3, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Pretty much, yeah.

crr6 on December 3, 2010 at 3:48 PM

You really should post in these Econ threads more. It’s a shock to the system for these guys when someone shows up who actually knows what they’re taking about.

crr6 on December 3, 2010 at 3:14 PM

LOL. Thanks for the Friday afternoon chuckle.

angryed on December 3, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Does anyone here understand the difference between jobs created and net jobs created? Because the numbers are easily confused.

bayam on December 3, 2010 at 12:05 PM

I’ll tell you if you can explain to me how making rich people poor makes poor people rich. Because that is what you’re advocating with your soak the rich diatribes

angryed on December 3, 2010 at 3:52 PM

so tell us, ccracck6, what piece of wisdom troll imparted upon us, from the preeminent economists of the editors of Barron’s, that we missed out on?

joeindc44 on December 3, 2010 at 4:13 PM

and of course, I don’t think troll answered how his thesis squares with this.

joeindc44 on December 3, 2010 at 4:14 PM

You really should post in these Econ threads more. It’s a shock to the system for these guys when someone shows up who actually knows what they’re taking about.

crr6 on December 3, 2010 at 3:14 PM

That “shock” should sound alot like laughter.

Chuck Schick on December 3, 2010 at 4:20 PM

so, how’s that middle class doing right now, what about that unemployment?

joeindc44 on December 3, 2010 at 12:06 PM

With 47% of the country not paying ANY taxes, Obowma’s design to destroy the middle class and employ class warfare, unemployment and underemployment at 17.4%, I’d say Keynesianism was proven wrong again.

This will be discussed at length in the next issues of Barron’s and the WSJ with Sarah Palin on each cover.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Nearly-half-of-US-households-apf-1105567323.html?x=0&.v=1

http://www.gallup.com/Home.aspx

dthorny on December 3, 2010 at 5:47 PM

bayam on December 3, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Wild guess “Net Jobs created” is the difference tween Total “Jobs created” minus Total “Jobs lost”.

10 jobs created minus 9 jobs lost, would be a “Net jobs created” of 1.

For Obama (Stim plan) he promised 3 million jobs created.
Actual has been a loss of 3.5 million jobs.

The “Net Jobs created” is actually minus 6.5 million jobs.

Do I win?

DSchoen on December 3, 2010 at 6:14 PM

This will be discussed at length in the next issues of Barron’s and the WSJ with Sarah Palin on each cover.

Wait, don’t the law of conservation of smug require that if Sarah Palin (who we spend too much time listening to) were to approach, touch, and indeed land on the cover of Barron’s, wherein most preeminent economists are in agreement with Barron’s editors, who have repeatedly pointed out the foolishness of spending cuts during a deep recession, cause a singularity event, thereby cancelling the whole universee!!2!@!1@1@3!2#12312

Be careful with your jokes, man!

joeindc44 on December 3, 2010 at 6:36 PM

me @

dthorny on December 3, 2010 at 5:47 PM

Yesterday, troll’s big concern was how the bush tax cuts were the culprits behind the disappearance of the “middle class.” and lackluster employment. Since the troll listens to most preeminent economists as well as Barron’s, which has repeatedly pointed out the foolishness of spending cuts during a deep recession, and we listen (well, you, not me) too much to Sarah Palin, we (well, me, not we) were trying to understand what he meant by:
1. lackluster employment when unemployment was below 5%
2. what is the middle class (apparently union thugs who care work an honest 2 hours a day and clear $100K) and why they “disappeared. (that being because of Bush’s tax cuts (for the wealthiest 1% of Americans and not any economic trends))

joeindc44 on December 3, 2010 at 6:40 PM

Pathetic.

CWforFreedom on December 3, 2010 at 8:28 PM

The thing that Fools like Bayam and Crr forget is there is a massive cost to this type of spending. The unintended consequences and the opportunity costs are very high.
Anyone who thinks differently has not a clue. For a President who railed against kicking the can down the road he sure does a lot of it.

CWforFreedom on December 3, 2010 at 8:38 PM

11. On top of increasing regulations and taxes on businesses, make sure the changes are so unclear and uncertain that the businesses cannot possibly plan for the future or remain in compliance no matter how hard they try. This will encourage hiring and other investment for sure.

forest on December 3, 2010 at 9:20 AM


YEP, you’re right.

and then #12. Blame the businesses for “piling up cash” and portraying them as being “greedy” or “selfish”.

GOD HELP US!!

PappyD61 on December 3, 2010 at 11:32 PM

You know, after all the times we’ve seen the “experts” surprised we need to start asking why these people are considered the experts.

Fighton03 on December 4, 2010 at 12:26 AM

The stupidity of leftists notwithstanding, it takes roughly 180,000 new jobs every month to keep up with the work force.

Under Bush, the media and “economists” tut-tutted whenever job creation was below that figure (but over 100K monthly), noting somberly that we weren’t keeping pace.

Only the clinically insane like Krugman and Reich think we didn’t do enough “stimulus.” The fact is the money didn’t go to ANY “shovel-ready projects” (>3% spent on infrastructure), except to shovel it to unions, and to states so they wouldn’t have to lay off their ASCME and SEIU workers. It was spent like a 12 year-old spends his summer job savings at the state fair.

Adjoran on December 4, 2010 at 12:53 PM

It still hacks me off that the number reported is the fixed number; the number without the “not-looking-for-work-unemployed”. They game the numbers every month this way. The real number should be 17% or so.

I know that somewhere down the line, when the economy starts to recover, thanks to the Republicans, and most of those “not-looking-for-work-unemployed” start looking for work again, the reported “unemployment” number will rise to 10-11%. There will be more jobs, there will be a better economy and more people will be looking for work because they believe that there are jobs out there for them, but the number that everybody looks at and reports (the gamed number) will be higher. Thus, the mainstream media will cry that everything is going in the wrong direction when it will be going in the right direction and to the undiscerning eye, it might look like that.

I hate such misleading B.S.. It’s just shy of a downright lie to the American public. The only reason that it is done that way is to mislead the people in favor of the liberals.

Sigh.

Theophile on December 4, 2010 at 2:40 PM

I know that somewhere down the line, when the economy starts to recover, thanks to the Republicans, and most of those “not-looking-for-work-unemployed” start looking for work again, the reported “unemployment” number will rise to 10-11%

You recall how Clin-ton took credit for the Gingrich era.

joeindc44 on December 4, 2010 at 3:19 PM

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