Unemployment rate back up to 9.8%


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.

Household Survey Data

The number of unemployed persons was 15.1 million in November. The unemployment
rate edged up to 9.8 percent; it was 9.6 percent in each of the prior 3 months.
(See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (10.0 per-
cent), adult women (8.4 percent), whites (8.9 percent), and Hispanics (13.2 per-
cent) edged up in November. The jobless rate for blacks (16.0 percent) showed
little change over the month, while the rate for teenagers declined to 24.6 per-
cent. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.6 percent, not seasonally adjusted. (See
tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed tempor-
ary jobs rose by 390,000 to 9.5 million in November. The number of long-term un-
employed (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 mil-
lion. 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 un-
employed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the sur-
vey. (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 season-
ally 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.)

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