Unemployment Drops To 10%, Job Losses Lowest Of Recession

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Economy, Jobs, Money, unemployment

Unemployment Line

Nobody’s signing “Happy Days Are Here Again,” but any significant downward movement in the unemployment rate is reason for some early holiday cheer. And there’s more good news beyond this. I’ll share a chart that shows this after the numbers.

From WSJ:

U.S. job losses in November posted the smallest drop since the start of the recession and the unemployment rate unexpectedly declined, a sign the labor market is finally healing as the economy recovers.

Nonfarm payrolls fell by just 11,000 last month, slowing down from a downwardly revised 111,000 drop seen in October, as the recovery encouraged some companies to retain workers, the Labor Department said Friday.

Okay, now here’s a graph (with some notations from me) to illustrate how significant this is and how it’s even more evidence that we’re pulling out of this mess…

Chart of Unemployment Rate November 2009

More from WSJ about how some sectors are recovering…

Employment in the service sector — the main source of U.S. jobs — rose by 58,000 in November. But that was more than offset by manufacturing companies shedding 41,000 jobs and construction companies cutting 27,000.

Health-care employment continued to rise in November, by 21,000. The industry has added 613,000 jobs since the recession began at the end of 2007.

And one last bright spot…

Friday’s report showed that average hourly earnings rose by 0.1%, or $0.01, to $18.74.

More people are employed and we’re making more money.

Win, win.

PS – BTW, if you’re going to talk to me about U6 or the underemployment rate, you better also explain why it was ignored for 8 years under Bush as it skyrocketed past 15% in 2008. In short, don’t get U6 religion now just because a Dem is in office.

This entry was posted on Friday, December 4th, 2009 and is filed under Economy, Jobs, Money, unemployment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

8 Responses to “Unemployment Drops To 10%, Job Losses Lowest Of Recession”

  1. Frank Hagan Says:

    I hope this means we’ve hit the plateau, and unemployment will start to decrease over the next months. Small decreases like this often disappear when they refine the number a few weeks after its initially announced, but at least its showing an initial decline over the number first announced for November.

    The troublesome part about the economy is that most of the job growth has been in three areas, government, education (i.e., government again) and health care. It may be a very slow process to get other industries hiring again. Businesses won’t be eager to hire until they know what their costs will be, and there may be a dampening effect with the uncertainty over health care, cap and trade and proposed regulation increases.

  2. Justin Gardner Says:


    Actually, the biggest growth has been in the service sector, which is the biggest sector in the U.S. Sure, government has gained more, but that’s because we haven’t cut those job. So those are jobs saved, as the CBO mentioned recently.

    Do know that I don’t think we’re going to pull out of this soon, but I too am heartened by the steep decline in jobs lost. It means we’re getting back on track and that’s good for everybody, regardless of party affiliation.

    Also, cap and trade is all but dead, but the regulations of the financial secto isn’t. Health care ebb and flow has yet to be determined, but one can imagine that the more folks that come into the system, the more the health care system will have to hire.

  3. Alistair Says:

    Justin & Frank,

    I think we may have hit the plateau especially if the President Obama decide to use the TARP money that have been repaid although I don’t know how much of an impact it will make. To me it a good idea if you want more money to go to infrastuctors on highways, bridges and buildings.


  4. Nick Benjamin Says:

    Justin you’re buying into the momentum narrative DC junkies push all the time if you think cap and trade is dead. When health reform passes the left will keep up the pressure on the Senate to pass it.

    It’ll be roughly the same dynamic as we had on the public option. In August it was declared dead. In September several clever ideas came up to resurrect it, and one of those ideas is a handful of votes from becoming law.

    And, like everyone else, I am very happy that we only lost 11,000 jobs this month.

  5. Jim S Says:

    Sigh. It’s not about jobs now. Jobs that leave people in the class of working poor or that don’t provide health insurance or have other major weaknesses aren’t good enough. If the people are working but don’t have any disposable income what does it mean for our country in the long run? I don’t think it’s anything good.

  6. kranky kritter Says:

    I’m really glad that the job losses are troughing. Hopefully this trends will continue. I’m still worried that we might see more losses in the 1st quarter of 2010 after a weak christmas. If the trend has continued through the spring, then I’ll be more optimistic.

    On a connect the dots note, one thing that really concerns me is the growth of health sector jobs. Anyone else wonder how that trend could possibly continue without it reinforcing the growth in healthcare costs?

    Me neither. Being unemployed, I see a fair number ofl the low level healthcare jobs and tons of offers for training, probably stimulus related. That’s good from the jobs perspective, but it’s hard to imagine that it will be a good thing from a healthcare costs perspective.

  7. Nick Benjamin Says:

    It depends on what they’re offering training for.

    More nurse practitioners would probably reduce overall health costs. You can use them in place of GPs most of the time, and they’re cheaper. This can be done without reductions in quality assuming the nurses can tell when they need a GP’s assistance.

    Moreover we don’t have enough people doing that type of work, so expensive specialist could probably be avoided if we had more Nurse Practitioners.

    If they’re training Pharmaceutical Company Sales Reps, Insurance Billing Specialists, etc. it probably is a waste of money.

  8. Macky Williams Says:

    Can you suggest me any comprehensive, justifiable unemployment statistics for U.S. in 2012?

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