December 5, 2008

Job picture deteriorates sharply in month

The U.S. employment picture eroded sharply in November with unemployment jumping from 6.5 percent to 6.7 percent, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday.

Nonfarm jobs employment dropped a precipitous 533,000 jobs in the month in a report that included revised figures for September and October, when the department said 320,000 and 403,000 jobs were lost, respectively.

November's decline was worst monthly drop since 602,000 jobs were lost in December 1974.

Since the start of the recession in December 2007, 1.9 million U.S. jobs have disappeared, the department said.

The report said employment in all major industries declined in the month.

The employment picture includes 10.3 million U.S. workers listed as unemployed.

Unemployment rates rose for adult men to 6.5 percent and for adult women to 5.5 percent.

Among whites, 6.1 percent are unemployed, while the unemployment rate for blacks rose to 11.2 percent. Unemployment for Hispanics was little changed in the month at 8.6 percent. The unemployment rate for Asians rose to 4.8 percent, the Labor Department reported.

Construction lost 82,000 jobs in November. Manufacturing lost an additional 85,000.

Employment in transportation equipment edged up by 27,000 the report said, owing to machinists ending a strike at Boeing.