Big Job Losses

Fri, 05 Dec 2008 13:47:54 +0000

The news from the BLS this morning is not good:

Nonfarm payroll employment fell sharply (-533,000) in November, and the unemployment rate rose from 6.5 to 6.7 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. November's drop in payroll employment followed declines of 403,000 in September and 320,000 in October, as revised. Job losses were large and widespread across the major industry sectors in November.

That's 1.26 million jobs lost in three months. Looking at some of the alternative measures of labor utilization, we find that U-6 (Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers) rose from 11.8 to 12.5 percent between November and December and is now nearly 1.5 times its level (8.4 percent) a year ago.

You can read a good summary from the BLS Commissioner here.