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November: Most jobs lost in 34 years

Payrolls shrink by 533,000, bringing 11-month decline to 1.9 million. Unemployment soars to 6.7%

By David Goldman, CNNMoney.com staff writer
Last Updated: December 5, 2008: 9:15 AM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The economy shed 533,000 jobs in November, according to a government report Friday - bringing the year's total job losses to 1.9 million.

November had the largest monthly job loss total since December 1974.

According to the Labor Department's monthly jobs report, the unemployment rate rose to 6.7% from 6.5% in October. Though lower than economists' forecast of 6.8%, it was the highest unemployment rate since October 1993.

Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a loss of 325,000 jobs in the month. November's monthly job loss total was greater than October's revised loss of 320,000. Payroll cuts in September were revised up to 403,000.

The revisios brought the 3-month job loss total to 1.3 million. That's equal to two-thirds of this year's total job losses and the third highest three-month job loss total since World War II.

November's report provided the first glimpse at how employers reacted after the peak of the credit crisis, reached in mid-October. With credit largely unavailable and expensive, consumers scaled back their spending, dragging down manufacturing and construction businesses.

Travel has also been trimmed, with would-be vacationers opting to stay close to home.

Accordingly, job losses were spread across a wide variety of industries. Manufacturing lost 85,000 jobs, the leisure and hospitality industries cut 76,000 jobs, and construction employment shrank further by 82,000 jobs.

In a bad sign for the ongoing holiday shopping season, retailers slashed payrolls by 91,300 workers last month.

Professional and business services, a category seen by some economists as a proxy for overall economic activity, had a 136,000-job drop in employment. And financial services jobs fell by 32,000.

The just-under 1.9 million jobs lost in the current recession, which began in December 2007, surpasses the 1.6 million jobs lost in the 2001 recession. That's noteworthy, because jobs were cut in droves in 2001 during the dot.com bust, which followed a white-hot employment market during the tech boom of the late 1990s. The job market expansion leading out of the previous recession was much more drawn-out and tepid.

Deeper cuts likely to come
With the economy in a recession and most economic indicators signaling even more difficult times ahead, economists say job losses will likely deepen and continue through at least the first half of 2009.

Citing weak economic conditions, a slew of large-scale job-cut announcements came this week. On Thursday alone, AT&T (T, Fortune 500), DuPont (DD, Fortune 500), Viacom (VIA), Credit Suisse (CS) and Avis (CAR, Fortune 500) issued statements that totaled nearly 23,000 jobs lost, most of which will take place over the next several months.

According to a report by outsourcing agency Challenger, Gray & Christmas, planned job cut announcements by U.S. employers soared to 181,671 last month, the second-highest total on record.

Temporary employment, including workers employed by temp agencies, fell by 100,700 jobs last month, the highest on records that go back to 1985. That could mean even more full-time payroll reductions to come, as employers often cut temporary workers before they begin cutting permanent staff.

In another sign of weakness, a growing number of workers were unable to find jobs with the amount of hours they want to work. Those working part-time jobs - because they couldn't find full-time work, or their hours had been cut back due to slack conditions - jumped by 621,000 people to 7.3 million, the highest ever on records that date back to 1955.

The so-called under-employment rate, which counts those part-time workers, as well as those without jobs who have become discouraged and stopped looking for work, soared to 12.5% from from 11.8%, setting the all-time high for that measure since calculations for it began in January 1994.

But some industries were hiring last month. Government hiring has stayed strong throughout the downturn, adding another 7,000 jobs in November. Education and health services also grew payrolls, which grew by 52,000 employees.

The average hourly work week fell to 33.5 hours last month. Economists expected the workweek to hold at October's level of 33.6 hours. But with a modest 7-cent gain in the average hourly salary, the average weekly paycheck rose by 52 cents to $613.05.


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Added: Dec-5-2008 Occurred On: Dec-4-2008
By: DedHajiGoodHaji
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Tags: Bushonomics, Bush, Economy, recession, depression, criminal
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  • Thanks for the going away present bush.

    Posted Dec-5-2008 By 

    (3) | Report

  • Cant this fine fellow stay on as Pres?

    Eight years of economic mismanagement, illegal aggression, catastrophic incomepetance in New Orleans, the destruction of america's so called 'moral' high ground.

    What's not to like about the dude?

    Posted Dec-5-2008 By 

    (2) | Report

    • HE PROTECTED AMERICA!!! except for that one day in 2001.

      Posted Dec-5-2008 By 

      (-2) | Report

    • at the expense of going to a false war with Iraq where millions of Iraqis live died based on false war.

      Posted Dec-5-2008 By 

      (0) | Report

    • The war isnt false, it's going on right now. Your casulty figures you might refer to as false.

      Posted Dec-5-2008 By 

      (0) | Report

    • The 911 attacks were complicated to say the least. Like these guys took out 2 buildings with planes, building 7 by fire and one Pentagon.
      19 crazy acid throwing, box cutter equiped, Cessna flying skills, subverted a 40 billion dollar defence system (no one got fired).

      I would submit to you that is so obvious (to me) that something smells just on the surface of this debacle.

      People, Humans, Leaders make mistakes, Terrorists don't have the resources to pull off this failure of leadership. Of c More..

      Posted Dec-5-2008 By 

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    • Thanks for that insightful post. I don't know to the degree in which you think the government conspired in the attacks, most "truthers" believe they are solely responsible. I don't subscribe to that lunacy but I do think its plausible that CHANEY/bush Co. allowed it to happen.. I also think think they were surprised at the severity, but like other conspiracies in our history I can only voice my opinion when it is appropriate. Like now.

      Posted Dec-5-2008 By 

      (-1) | Report

  • lets all thank that fuckhead in the whitehouse.

    Posted Dec-5-2008 By 

    (0) | Report

  • Most right-wingers still think he is the best president we've ever had because "he started a war on terrorism".

    Could have fuckin fooled me. I think the douchebag is by far one of the worst we've had.

    Nixon's war on drugs = FAIL
    Bush's war on terror = FAIL

    and the list goes on...

    Posted Dec-5-2008 By 

    (0) | Report

    • Responsible business owners and corporations look forward at least 1 year to protect future earnings and minimize possible future losses. Obama's win equates to a minimum 1800 pt. loss on the Dow. Given the many anti capitalist statements from Obama during the election campaign, the forces of commerce are simply being proactive. Obama will be the hero when he backs off of his socialist ideology after sworn in and the market takes off. Smart politics from him but disturbing and uncalled for.

      Posted Dec-5-2008 By 

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  • I dont know whats funnier people that actually think the President has the power of the money. Or that europeans actually believe that he does. Still debating this in my head.
    Yes the war costs.... Congress has to approve the money.

    I laugh cause I read posts and its like bush walked up to the treasury and said "hey, I need 10 trillion on cred please">

    Posted Dec-5-2008 By 

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  • karma

    Posted Dec-5-2008 By 

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  • Unemployment up 6.7%?

    Who's doing the measuring? If they did it right it would be somewhere -20%, since we're employing 20 million illegal immigrants!!!

    Posted Dec-5-2008 By 

    (-1) | Report

    • It's funny you mention that. I worked a Union job for several years and I remember the upper management would provide fake SS#'s to the store directors in order to hire illegals, and the Union looked the other way. When we went on strike/lockout, in went aliens and people from outsourceing companies.

      The fake SS#s sceme was so open that store director where sent messages from the DMs asking them to not use these tactic during the strike for fear of it being brought in the open. Some did some More..

      Posted Dec-5-2008 By 

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