November unemployment reportThe economy added just 39,000 jobs in November -- substantially lower than expected -- the U.S. Labor Department announced Friday. It's a clearly disappointing report and shows that the world's largest economy, despite a year of GDP growth, still hasn't overcome its worst job drought in decades.

A Bloomberg survey had projected a far higher -- 168,000 -- job increase for the month.

The sparse rise in new jobs pushed the overall unemployment rate to 9.8% -- its highest level since April -- from 9.6%. The Bloomberg survey did forecast a higher jobless rate, but to 9.7%. In November, 15.1 million people were classified as unemployed. Another downer: The private sector added just 50,000 jobs in November, versus gains of around 150,000 that analysts were expecting.

The one bright spot: Job totals for October and September were revised higher, resulting in a net gain of 38,000 for those two months. The Labor Departed revised October's total increase to 172,000 jobs, up from the initial estimate of 151,000. September's loss was revised to a smaller 24,000, rather than the preliminary 41,000.

Underemployment Is Stuck at 17%

Overall, however, November's job report was a major disappointment, across nearly the entire spectrum of statistics.

The underemployment rate, which includes both the unemployed and those working part-time who are seeking full-time jobs, remained the same at a staggering 17%. And the number of long-term unemployed -- those out of work for 27 weeks or longer -- increased to 6.3 million.

Average hourly earnings increased a paltry 1 cent to $22.75 per hour. The average workweek for all employees was unchanged at 34.3 hours. A 0.1 hour increase in the workweek adds about 100,000 jobs to the economy.

Most sector totals also came in at the low end of estimates. Temporary services -- considered a leading indicator of permanent hiring -- added 39,5000 jobs; services added 54,000 jobs; health care, 19,000; and mining, 6,000 jobs. On the downside, manufacturing lost 13,000 positions; government, 11,000; retail department stores, 9,000; and home furnishing stores, 5,000.

When Will the Jobs Appear?

November's downbeat report occurred amid a backdrop of data indicating that the U.S. economy is on the cusp of better things, at least from a GDP growth standpoint. Indeed, U.S. GDP expansion for the third quarter was just revised higher, to 2.5% from 2%. The manufacturing rebound, aided by a slightly weaker dollar, shows no signs of ending. And jobless claims have been in a downtrend for about two months. All these suggested that the protracted period of high layoffs was finally coming to an end.

And yet, despite the stronger growth signs -- and better-than-expected retail sales as the holiday shopping started -- substantial job growth has not appeared in a sustained way. One major reason so far for the so-called jobless recovery has been the remarkable story of continuously rising U.S. worker productivity. It rose again in the third quarter by 2.3%, higher than the initial estimate of a 1.9% increase.

Equally impressive, productivity is up a revised 2.6% over the past four quarters, slightly below the torrid 3.5% increase for 2009, but still an impressive rise in per-person per-hour output in the past year.

Higher Productivity's Downside


That increased productivity has helped the bottom lines of companies large and small: During the 2007-2009 recession, businesses were able to maintain output despite layoffs, a pattern that has held up as the recovery started. But that high productivity has a downside -- it has delayed job creation.

Still, after the longest period of "rightsizing" in decades, many economists agree that most companies probably have wrung all they can in terms of productivity out of existing staff, and that any significant increase in demand will require hiring -- something that bodes well for job growth in the quarters ahead.

However, as the latest jobs report demonstrates, this expansion in the initial decades of globalization is frequently defying norms and expectations. For workers, it's likely to be a recovery that's filled with fits and starts. And surprises, both good and harsh.

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duey35

Obama can't solve anything, he is part of the problem.

December 04 2010 at 2:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
AREK

Honestly, I am wondering what's next..(revolt?) !!!

December 04 2010 at 2:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dems4dinner2012

What part of liberal policies are failing this country don't people get??

December 04 2010 at 1:53 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dems4dinner2012's comment
clark8642

Fiscal liberals, who dominate both parties with their borrow and spend policies are not the whole problem. We need to cut spending if we want tax cuts but most politicians can only think about the next new tax cut. Spending cuts are too hard to do. Until we balance our budget the fiscal liberals are to blame. McConnell and Boehner are the worst of the fiscal borrow and spend liberals followed closely by Reid, Pelosi, and Obama.

December 04 2010 at 3:37 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
CnOWrms1

If Carter wasn't now the next to worst pres in the US, Carter probably wouldn't forgive and forget Obama for what he has done for two years and more.

December 04 2010 at 12:59 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to CnOWrms1's comment
clark8642

Bush wins hands down as worst President in the last 100 years. A fiscal borrow and spend liberal who wouldn't even raise money to pay for wars.

December 04 2010 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CnOWrms1

What planet are you on, Susie?

December 04 2010 at 12:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
LEE Resolution

Susie 11:16 AM Dec 4, 2010 Bush and republican voters owe this country an apology....................still waiting. *************** You will grow old waiting.........as well you should...

December 04 2010 at 12:16 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to LEE Resolution's comment
CnOWrms1

Obama owes this nation an apology, a bow and kiss, refunds on the stimulus, paid vacations, a new house and car, a demonstration of humility to the nth degree, public soul searching, and last but not least, a Noble Prize should go to George Bush.

December 04 2010 at 12:41 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
sonny

This Is our country..My country.. My wifes grandfather stormed the beaches of Normandy, my dad served with the Marine Corps. as a frogman In 1952 during Korea, my oldest brother survived 2 tours in Vietnam bringing home 2 bullet wounds a frag granade schrap scare and 3 purple hearts. My 2 other brothers joined the Army together from 74-78 they both served honorably for a country they love, and I myself served In the U.S. Navy ,down In the engineroom of the U.S.S. Tarawa (LHA-1)from 84-88. My son Is joining the U.S. Army as a tanker and with the way things are going I just ask one thing precious Lord....bring him home with your speed.... I say these things to insure the reader of this comment of my love for this great nation.. I didn't vote for Obama, not because the color of his skin differs from mine (all blood is red) , and I hope the main reason you voted FOR him had nothin to do with that as well..What would that say?...right?. But If he doesn't do the right thing by what the Constitution actually says ,and blunders on this way with a blind man leading the blind mentality taking advice from advsors who clearly have an agenda and treat the U.S. Constitution like some absract, hyrogliphical document that can only be translated by the smartest among them.. The damage my take more than a generation or two to repair. Or worse..to a People and a Country whom I love. "A wise man see's trouble and hides himself..The simple pass on and are punished".. "We The People" are not better than everyone else....... We are everyone else.. To be an American has nothing at all to do with skin color. It is an Idea... a belief that we are all created equal , (whoever your creator may be) endowned with certain unalienable rights,that among them are: life..liberty ,and the pursuit of happiness..A pursuit which has become...a battle..... Merry Christmas.

December 04 2010 at 12:05 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sonny's comment
telebob52

Well said

December 04 2010 at 1:19 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Ralph

What a joke! The democrates talk about job creation when the want to increase taxes for the people who create them. That and Obamacare will hurt the private sector in a big way. Say hello to Socialism. Look how well it worked in europe.

December 04 2010 at 11:36 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
soapyjeans

It's a sad day in America when it's citizens can't trust its own media (lame stream media). The dems in Congress didn't get the midterm message, I get that, but apparently lamestream media didn't get it either. Senator Scott Brown offered legisation to EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS that would be funded. Unlike the lame bill the dems keep playing pr games with, which isn't funded. This isn't rocket science, which is better for America??? The GOP funded bill of course, so why won't the hypocritical dems allow it to be brought to the floor and voted on??? People, the progressive/liberal dems in Congress are destroying the Democratic party. They are too far left and even democrats don't recognize their party anymore! Stop the madness!!! Congress has no business passing anything that isn't funded. What happened to Pelosi pay as you go rule??? Dems are lying hypocrites who continue to use Baghdad Bob lamestream media to cram their agenda down our throats. And lastly, why would anyone want to emulate Europe, it's broke!!!! Look at Greece, Ireland, UK etc...

December 04 2010 at 11:30 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to soapyjeans's comment
clark8642

So a new round of tax cuts are off the table?

December 04 2010 at 10:04 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
map1246

Obama prefers to reward the lazy and stupid and punish the productive.

December 04 2010 at 11:23 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply