Jobless rates rise, 533,000 more people lose their jobs in November

WASHINGTON (PAI)--With the nation now officially in a recession for a year -- and expected to stay that way all next year -- the U.S. jobless rate rose 0.2 percent in November to 6.7 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Another 533,000 people lost their jobs. The number of unemployed shot up to 10.331 million.

The gloomy data confirmed the recession declaration by the Boston-based National Bureau of Economic Research, the official arbiter of recessions. It said the present bust under GOP President George W. Bush started last December.

Of course, NBER also said the first Bush bust lasted only from February through November of 2001. Workers, however, have seen their incomes stay flat or decline ever since 2000. For workers, the first Bush recession never stopped.

The number of jobless in November was 73 percent more than the 5.956 million who were out of work when Bush entered the Oval Office. Those January 2001 numbers, the last gathered under Democratic President Bill Clinton, showed a 4 percent jobless rate.

The job losses were widespread and nationwide. In a separate survey, based on October’s data, BLS said only six of the nation’s 369 metropolitan areas had lower jobless rates that month than they did 12 months before. The rest had jobless rates that were unchanged or higher than in October 2007. And one of every eight workers (12.5 percent) was unemployed or underemployed.

Factories continued their job slide in November, BLS said. They lost 85,000 jobs last month and are now down to 13.168 million jobs, four million below their last peak, in 1999. Subsidized foreign imports cost factories those jobs. The AFL-CIO Industrial Unions Council says half the lost jobs were well-paying union jobs.

And the job cuts in factories do not count the recent losses in autos, ArcelorMittal Steel in Ohio and some big-ticket layoffs, such as AT&T’s firing 12,000 people Dec. 4.

Construction also shed jobs in November. Employment in the industry declined by 82,000, to 6.952 million. The jobless rate in construction, 10.8 percent in October, climbed to 12.1 percent last month.

In past months and years, service job gains offset factory losses. But that didn’t happen in October and it didn’t happen in November, either. Services shed 370,000 jobs last month. Even temps and other help services (-101,000) lost jobs. Reflecting the Wall Street meltdown that plunged the nation into the recession, financial sector jobs declined by 32,000.

Even the areas that would be expected to gain jobs in the holiday season did not. On a seasonally adjusted basis, retail trade lost 91,000 jobs, down to 15.046 million.

The only sectors that gained jobs were health care (+34,000) and government (+7,000).