Friday, December 04, 2009

Employment Report: 11K Jobs Lost, 10% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 12/04/2009 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS:

The unemployment rate edged down to 10.0 percent in November, and nonfarm payroll employment was essentially unchanged (-11,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Employment Measures and Recessions Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the unemployment rate and the year over year change in employment vs. recessions.

Nonfarm payrolls decreased by 11,000 in November. The economy has lost almost 4.8 million jobs over the last year, and 7.2 million jobs1 during the 23 consecutive months of job losses.

The unemployment rate decreased to 10.0 percent. Year over year employment is strongly negative.

Percent Job Losses During Recessions The second graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms (as opposed to the number of jobs lost).

For the current recession, employment peaked in December 2007, and this recession is the worst recession since WWII in percentage terms, and 2nd worst in terms of the unemployment rate (only early '80s recession with a peak of 10.8 percent was worse).

The 11,000 jobs lost was surprising and was much better than other indicators (like ADP, weekly initial claims, ISM reports) would have indicated. The decrease in the unemployment rate was expected because of the large increase last month (and the unemployment rate is noisy). More to come ...

1Note: The total jobs lost does not include the preliminary benchmark payroll revision of minus 824,000 jobs. (This is the preliminary estimate of the annual revision that will be announced early in 2010).