Labor market surprisingly resilient after Sandy
Friday's payroll report isn't as bad as expected, but isn't all that good either.
Updated 12:30 p.m. ET
The economic impact of Superstorm Sandy might not be as bad as some experts had expected, but the economy still is struggling. The Labor Department reported Friday that U.S. private sector employers added 146,000 jobs in November, far more than economists had expected. That caused unemployment to fall to 7.7%, its lowest level since December 2008.
Wall Street was pleased with the report and pushed stocks up in midday trading. Investors, though, shouldn't confuse a less-bad-than-expected jobs report with a good jobs report. Indeed, the number of unemployed persons was little changed at 12 million. Also, the BLS revised down jobs figures in both September and October by 49,000 jobs, although revisions to jobs figures are common.
Economists had expected a gain of 85,000 jobs following a revised lower gain of 138,000 in October, according to Bloomberg News. The upside surprise seems to have come from Sandy, which devastated much of the Northeast coastline, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics "did not substantively impact the national employment and unemployment estimates for November."
The payroll number was below the 151,000 average gain seen for the year and the 153,000-per-month average seen in 2011. According to the BLS, the average work week was unchanged at 34.4 hours. Average hourly earnings rose to $23.59. The unemployment rates among adult men, women, teenagers, whites and Hispanics held steady. Retail trade, professional and business services, and health care posted job gains.
There are some signs of hope for U.S. jobs: Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook surprised investors Thursday by saying that the company planned to build some Mac computers in the U.S. The U.S. job market, though, continues to face challenges.
But Wall Street continues to retrench. Citigroup (C) Thursday announced plans to lay off 11,000 workers and many analysts expect more to come. Also worrisome -- unemployment will spike if Congress fails to avoid the fiscal cliff.
Fiscal cliff worries appear to be weighing on consumers. A well regarded measure of consumer confidence took a fall in early December to a four-month low. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer mood reading plummeted to 74.5 in early December from 82.7 a month earlier.
Even if that calamity is dodged, the best that Americans can expect is slow and steady progress in the jobs market. It may "win the race," but it's a pretty frustrating slog for those looking for work.
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unemployment low tell me another lie. I have been looking for work since march i put in at least 800 + applications and i get discriminated against because i am older,a female,not hispanic,not a veteran,over qualified and what ever else you may think of.
and this is for anything you can think of
I am a manager in food service i can not get a job for a cashier or cook with years old experience
tell me about unemployment low can not get a 8 dollar a hour job
so sad and now i am told my unemployment will be cut that i have put in for since i was 15 1/2 years old this is my first time on unemployment ever.
If Obama does not do the euc there will be alot of problems people begging and stealing to pay their bills among other things
I don't have nothing to sell or even a car anymore cause i can not get work i don't even have my own home anymore i am forced to live with people giving them part of my unemployment
so tell me unemployment rate dropped how many lose their jobs at hostess 18,000+ how many at citibank 11,000+ where is it getting better?
Why doesn't sites like MSN inform the reader's just how unemployment is figured. Government only samples around 60,000 homes to come up with this %. Many people have fallen off the grid because they have run out of benefits. UE does not include those on welfare. those UE that worked part time those that graduated college. This year their were roughly 1,800,000 students graduated from college and it is estimated that only 10% will find work. How do you account that since obama took office that the number of food stamps has more than doubled.
sure i guess when enough people can NO LONGER collect UEB's, because the time ran out beofre they could find a job it would naturaly drop.
in 2008 i was laid off with millions of other Americans. I looked daily, day after day for work. then my USB max was reached. i was NO LONGER COUNTED as one of the "unemployed seeking work", but as one of those who, "gave up looking". let me fill some of you in on that... i never did give up looking day after day, yet i was put on that list as a quitter, something i never in my life to this day have been. I got lucky, landed a few temp service jobs, where i was let go just before my 90 days, until i found the job i am employed at to this day. my anniversary date is july 5th, 2011, and i still remain at this company. Am still a hard worker, who puts forth an honest effort, and trains those who need training in my fields. i hold more than 1 trade under my belt at the present moment, in total 4. around march if not sooner i will be working on my 5th.
i stand behind all the unemployed who are hard working and still jobless and or struggeling. There are people who have no clue what i and others in my former position have/still go thru. it took over 1 yr for me to actually start to settle into my job without worry i was going to loose it for no reason other than the company to save money.
articles like this make me want to puke, and knock who ever decides to spread crap like this into the next decade. they are clueless, or do not care to tell the truth behind the real scenes as to what is actually going on.
proof in point? even tho jobs are still being lost faster than created, please exsplain to me how else the jobless rate can fall? 1 minus 2 does not make 3, it makes negative 1 in real world mathmatics. guess we can put that in the list of false representation such as "humaitarian aid"? since when is dropping a bomb on people helping them as they lay scattered on the ground, or buried in rubble? thats what the US was doing in Libya (a country we no longer hear a word since it was discovered we gave it terrorists).
the leaders of our nation treat the public like sheeple with goodie 2 shoe words, and deception, and the majority lap it up like a hungry kitten with a saucer of fresh milk.... pathetic. if i were to have 1, just 1 wish in my lifetime for x-mas? it would be for the American public to wake up and smell the coffee.... well in this case, the bull **** cooking on the federal stove top.
Ok, time for the writer to put away the kool aid.
He forgets to mention the MILLIONS that have fallen off the gov't tit, exhausting their unemployment.
TRUTHFUL UNEMPLOYED NUMBER: OVER 26 MILLION...
A dis-satisfied customer and voter...
When I go to the local mall, I see allot of people there. Go to an Apple store and watch how busy it is and all the people buying new iPhones.
You have to be a Complete Idiot to believe those numbers. Once people get kicked off unemployment, and are wandering the freaking streets they don't count anmore!
WAke Up Sheep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The 138,000 job number needs to be clarified.
Alot of company's do holiday hiring ( ex. Fed-Ex, UPS, Kolhs) during the late October through December period.
How many of the 138,000 jobs are full-time permanent positions vs. holiday positions which usually terminate
at the end of December.
So, lets not get to exicited.
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A basic income policy can actually ensure a decent standard of living for everyone.
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