Press Releases | Jobs and Unemployment

News from EPI Labor market falters in November

For Immediate Release: Friday, December 3, 2010
Contact: Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner, 202-775-8810

The labor market sputtered in November, according to EPI’s Heidi Shierholz in today’s Jobs Picture, as employment, hours worked, and wages all flatlined, and unemployment rose to 9.8%.  Payroll employment grew just 39,000, while private-sector employment grew by 50,000, its worst showing in 10 months. The unemployment rate for people with a college degree, at 5.1%, is the highest it has been in 40 years.  The hoped-for progress in the labor market is not materializing.   

The surprisingly bleak report also hits another grim benchmark: at 19 months, it’s now tied with the longest stretch on record (during the early 1980s recession) in which unemployment did not dip below 9.0%.  At the tail end of those 19 months in the early 1980s recession, however, the unemployment rate was already falling fast.  Today’s situation stands in stark contrast, with the unemployment rate expected to remain above 9% through all of 2011, if not beyond. 

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