Economy sheds far fewer jobs than expected

The White House - if they're smart - will not try and spin this as the beginning of the recovery. They've seen the same projections we have - that the economy is still very weak and unemployment will probably be rising until some time after the 1st quarter next year.

Still, it's good news if you're lucky enough to have a job. Only 11,000 Americans were given pink slips last month which is considerably less than the 130,000 job loss expected by analysts.

Javier Hernandez of the New York Times writes:

The Labor Department reported Friday that the United States economy shed 11,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate fell to 10 percent, down from 10.2 percent in October.

The government also significantly revised September and October numbers. September was adjusted to show a loss of 139,000 jobs instead of 219,000, and October 111,000 instead of 190,000.

Though the pace has been declining since a peak in January, the November number was surprising. Economists have been expecting a turning point to come in the late spring or summer, with employers finally adding workers as a recovery takes hold. The last time the number was this good was December 2007, when the economy added 120,000 jobs.

"We're moving toward stability in the labor market and the end of the tremendous firing that has plagued America," said Allen L. Sinai, the founder of Decision Economics, a research firm. "But it's going to be bleak for years. While it is going to be better than what we've seen, it's still going to be terrible."

A large number of employees are working fewer hours than they would like because many companies are operating below capacity and have resisted adding staff until orders turn up and the incipient recovery seems likely to endure. Indeed, a broader measure of unemployment fell in November to 17.2 percent, from 17.5 percent in October. This broader measure covers not only those seeking work but those whose hours have been cut and those too discouraged to look for work.


Perhaps just as significant was the revision for September and October jobs lost numbers. Those are huge revisions and some bright statistician might want to have a look inside the BLS numbers. Not saying the books have been cooked but the huge drop is unusual. Obama wouldn't be the first president to toy with the BLS figures to get a better result if that has indeed happened.

There are still tens of millions of people hurting out there so any drop in unemployment is a good sign for them.



The White House - if they're smart - will not try and spin this as the beginning of the recovery. They've seen the same projections we have - that the economy is still very weak and unemployment will probably be rising until some time after the 1st quarter next year.

Still, it's good news if you're lucky enough to have a job. Only 11,000 Americans were given pink slips last month which is considerably less than the 130,000 job loss expected by analysts.

Javier Hernandez of the New York Times writes:

The Labor Department reported Friday that the United States economy shed 11,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate fell to 10 percent, down from 10.2 percent in October.

The government also significantly revised September and October numbers. September was adjusted to show a loss of 139,000 jobs instead of 219,000, and October 111,000 instead of 190,000.

Though the pace has been declining since a peak in January, the November number was surprising. Economists have been expecting a turning point to come in the late spring or summer, with employers finally adding workers as a recovery takes hold. The last time the number was this good was December 2007, when the economy added 120,000 jobs.

"We're moving toward stability in the labor market and the end of the tremendous firing that has plagued America," said Allen L. Sinai, the founder of Decision Economics, a research firm. "But it's going to be bleak for years. While it is going to be better than what we've seen, it's still going to be terrible."

A large number of employees are working fewer hours than they would like because many companies are operating below capacity and have resisted adding staff until orders turn up and the incipient recovery seems likely to endure. Indeed, a broader measure of unemployment fell in November to 17.2 percent, from 17.5 percent in October. This broader measure covers not only those seeking work but those whose hours have been cut and those too discouraged to look for work.


Perhaps just as significant was the revision for September and October jobs lost numbers. Those are huge revisions and some bright statistician might want to have a look inside the BLS numbers. Not saying the books have been cooked but the huge drop is unusual. Obama wouldn't be the first president to toy with the BLS figures to get a better result if that has indeed happened.

There are still tens of millions of people hurting out there so any drop in unemployment is a good sign for them.