Economy

Unemployment Rate Rises To 9.8%

The nation's official unemployment rate rose to 9.8% in November from 9.6% in each of the previous three months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported.

The widely watched "nonfarm payroll employment" figure rose by a much-less-than-expected 39,000, BLS added. At private employers, 50,000 jobs were added — down from the 160,000-gain in October.

We'll have more from the report shortly, so hit your "refresh" button to see any udpates.

Update at 8:53 a.m. ET. Republican reaction:

The lame-duck Congress should "cut spending and stop all the looming tax hikes," House Speaker-designate John Boehner, R-OH, just said in a statement released by his office. He accused Democratic leaders of "wasting time with meaningless votes as they try to make it as difficult as possible to stop their job-killing tax hike." He's referring there to the end-of-year expiration of tax cuts passed during the last Bush administration.

Update at 8:50 a.m. ET. Some early analyses:

Bloomberg News says this vindicates "the Federal Reserve's decision to pump more money into the economy to spur growth."

The Wall Street Journal writes that the news underlines "the continued weakness in the labor market 17 months into the recovery."

Update at 8:42 a.m. ET: It's worth repeating that, as USA TODAY reported yesterday, the jobless rate has been above 9% for 19 consecutive months — a post World War II record.

Update at 8:40 a.m. ET. More from the report:

— "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."

— "The number of unemployed persons was 15.1 million in November."

— "The number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs rose by 390,000 to 9.5 million in November."

— "The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 6.3 million and accounted for 41.9 percent of the unemployed."

There's an Associated Press/NPR story here.

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