US jobless rate drops but crisis continues

The US unemployment rate slipped to a December 2008 low in November but the job market remains stuck in a grinding crisis, government data released Friday shows.

The Labor Department's monthly jobs report was better than expected, with the jobless rate dropping to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent in October and job growth picking up.

But the decline in the jobless rate was mainly due to people leaving the workforce, the department said.

And the improvement in job growth -- the economy added 146,000 jobs -- came after the department downwardly revised October's initial estimate of 171,000, to 138,000.

The department also cut the September jobs number, slicing 49,000 jobs in total from the two months' gain.

"The November payroll gain was in line with the current trend and suggests the labor market has shown no sizable change in conditions over the last 11 months," Briefing.com analysts said.

The three-month average of 139,000 added jobs remained well below the estimated 250,000 pace needed on a sustained basis to significantly reduce unemployment.

"At the current pace, we would not see the economy returning to full employment for another decade," said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Superstorm Sandy, which pummeled the northeastern coast in late October, had less of an effect than expected by analysts, whose average estimate was for the jobless rate to rise to 8.0 percent and net jobs to fall to 90,000. The storm "did not substantively impact" the data, the department said.

President Barack Obama's economic adviser said the jobs report provided further evidence the economy was continuing to recover from the severe 2008-2009 recession.

"Over the last 12 months, the unemployment rate has decreased by 1.0 percentage point as a result of growing employment, and the labor force participation rate has been essentially unchanged," said Alan Krueger, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers.

The Labor Department said there was little change in the unemployment numbers in November. The long-term unemployed -- those without jobs for at least 27 weeks -- stood at 4.8 million, 40 percent of the 12 million unemployed.

The number of unemployed is near the peak of the Great Depression, though the total population was much smaller then.

And today's jobless have support from unemployment benefits crafted in then-Democratic president Franklin D. Roosevelt's response to the depression, the New Deal in 1933.

The number of people who wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job in the prior 12 months, totaled 2.5 million in the November numbers, barely budged from a year ago. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not sought work in the prior four weeks.

Job growth came from the private sector, which added 147,000 jobs, while government employment fell by 1,000.

The services sector gained 169,000 jobs, including almost 53,000 in the retail trade.

Analysts attributed the retail gain to an earlier than usual Thanksgiving holiday that kicked off the year-end shopping season.

The goods-producing sector shed 22,000 jobs, including a decline of 20,000 in construction and 7,000 in manufacturing.

"We are unlikely to see much more improvement in coming quarters since the uncertainty surrounding the fiscal cliff and government policies is likely prompting many employers to hold off on staffing moves," said Sophia Koropeckyj of Moody's Analytics.

Concerns are rampant that politicians will fail to find a compromise on longer term budget-deficit reduction to avoid the fast-approaching "fiscal cliff," the combination of sharp federal government tax increases and spending cuts due in January that economists say will jolt the economy back into recession.

Sal Guatieri of BMO Capital Markets said the Federal Reserve would likely announce new stimulus measures after the Federal Open Market Committee wraps up a two-day policy meeting Wednesday.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has highlighted that the unemployment rate remains "well above" what Fed officials want to see, justifying maintaining a loose monetary policy.

--

Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.
Loading...
  • LG G6 renders revealed by Ghostek ahead of MWC announcement
    LG G6 renders revealed by Ghostek ahead of MWC announcement International Business Times - 28 minutes ago

    LG G6 case renders have surfaced online, ahead of the phone's launch at the MWC. … More »

  • Son and daughters of stars are fashion's new royalty
    Son and daughters of stars are fashion's new royalty AFP News - 3 hours ago

    They are fashion's new celebrity aristocracy, the sons and daughters of stars who are themselves becoming the kings and queens of the catwalk shows. From Lily-Rose Depp and Will Smith's daughter Willow -- the faces of Chanel -- to the Beckham boys … More »

  • Happy New Year with Rising Home Loan Rates?
    Happy New Year with Rising Home Loan Rates? feed_manager_auto_publish_494--autopubtest_WPTUMBLR_485 - 3 hours ago

    Happy New Year with Rising Home Loan Rates? … More »

  • The skin cure fad threatening Myanmar's elephants
    The skin cure fad threatening Myanmar's elephants AFP News - 6 hours ago

    "Elephant's skin can cure skin diseases like eczema," one shop owner, who requested anonymity, told AFP next to a counter brimming with porcupine quills and snake skins. Then you get the ash and mix it with coconut oil to apply on the eczema." He … More »

  • Who's who in the Syria conflict
    Who's who in the Syria conflict AFP News - 6 hours ago

    Talks aimed at ending Syria's nearly six-year war are set to open on Monday in the Kazakh capital, brokered by regime allies Russia and Iran and rebel backer Turkey. Key regime backer Russia began an air campaign in support of President Bashar … More »

  • Years of failed efforts to end Syrian conflict
    Years of failed efforts to end Syrian conflict AFP News - 7 hours ago

    Since the start of Syria's war in 2011, several diplomatic initiatives have stumbled over the future of President Bashar al-Assad. Here is a recap: - End of Arab solutions - In January 2012, two months after an initial bid to end the violence, … More »

  • US stocks rise, dollar falls as Trump era begins
    US stocks rise, dollar falls as Trump era begins AFP News - 7 hours ago

    US stocks rose and the dollar fell Friday as Donald Trump was officially sworn in as the president of the United States and Barack Obama's term ended. Trump's inauguration dominated a day that saw most major equity markets rise as the … More »

  • Automotive industry: Sales lower but resilient Business Times - 7 hours ago

    CYBERJAYA: The Malaysian automotive industry is resilient, considering there were no “surprises” by the industry players last year, despite lower sales figures, according to Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) chief. Chief executive officer Datuk … More »

  • Automotive industry: Sales lower but resilient Business Times - 7 hours ago

    CYBERJAYA: The Malaysian automotive industry is resilient, considering there were no “surprises” by the industry players last year, despite lower sales figures, according to Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) chief. Chief executive officer Datuk … More »

  • Top gainer: UMW Holdings shares soar Business Times - 7 hours ago

    KUALA LUMPUR: UMW Holdings Bhd soared almost 10 per cent yesterday, while its subsidiary UMW Oil & Gas Corp Bhd (UMW O&G) plunged more than 17 per cent, following the announcement of their consolidation plans. UMW Holdings was Bursa Malaysia’s top … More »

  • Top gainer: UMW Holdings shares soar Business Times - 7 hours ago

    KUALA LUMPUR: UMW Holdings Bhd soared almost 10 per cent yesterday, while its subsidiary UMW Oil & Gas Corp Bhd (UMW O&G) plunged more than 17 per cent, following the announcement of their consolidation plans. UMW Holdings was Bursa Malaysia’s top … More »

  • Trump's inauguration day of ritual upends tradition
    Trump's inauguration day of ritual upends tradition AFP News - 8 hours ago

    Donald Trump awoke as your everyday American billionaire. By noon he was sworn in as the nation's 45th president, on a whirlwind day that saw him thrust into the spotlight like never before. Trump, 70, began his Inauguration Day as many American … More »

  • Trump signs executive order against Obamacare health law
    Trump signs executive order against Obamacare health law AFP News - 8 hours ago

    President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at limiting the "burden" of the Obamacare health law that the incoming US leader has vowed to repeal. During the signing in the Oval Office, Trump's chief of staff Reince Priebus described the … More »

  • Singaporean buyer scores a bargain at St Regis Residences
    Singaporean buyer scores a bargain at St Regis Residences The Edge Property - 9 hours ago

    One of the first few resale transactions in 2017 resulted in a hefty loss for the seller. On Jan 3, a high-floor unit at St Regis Residences Singapore was sold at a loss of $2.3 million. The seller bought the unit in a sub-sale transaction in 2008 … More »

  • US stocks rise, dollar falls as Trump era begins Business Times - 10 hours ago

    NEW YORK: US stocks rose and the dollar fell Friday as Donald Trump was officially sworn in as the president of the United States and Barack Obama’s term ended. Trump’s inauguration dominated a day that saw most major equity markets rise as the … More »

  • US stocks rise, dollar falls as Trump era begins AFP - 10 hours ago

    US stocks rose and the dollar fell Friday as Donald Trump was officially sworn in as the president of the United States and Barack Obama's term ended. Trump's inauguration dominated a day that saw most ... … More »

  • Trump gets Obama's house, title _ even his Twitter handle
    Trump gets Obama's house, title _ even his Twitter handle Associated Press - 11 hours ago

    Donald Trump built his campaign on early morning tweet storms and hashtag-worthy slogans. Now president, he's in control of the White House's powerful social media arsenal, including the official @POTUS ... … More »

  • Business Highlights Associated Press - 12 hours ago

    ___ China's growth in 2016 slumps as Trump trade struggle looms China's economic growth sank to a three-decade low in 2016 as its struggling exporters brace for a possible trade battle with President-elect ... … More »

  • Stocks edge higher, snapping a 5-day losing streak for Dow
    Stocks edge higher, snapping a 5-day losing streak for Dow Associated Press - 12 hours ago

    Materials companies led U.S. stocks modestly higher Friday, recouping much of the market's loss from a day earlier and snapping a 5-day losing streak for the Dow Jones industrial average. Another crop ... … More »

  • How major US stock market indexes fared on Friday Associated Press - 12 hours ago

    Stocks closed modestly higher Friday, recouping much of the market's loss from a day earlier. The gains, which snapped a 5-day losing streak for the Dow Jones industrial average, came against the backdrop ... … More »

  • Gambia's Jammeh agrees to go, but exile terms not reached
    Gambia's Jammeh agrees to go, but exile terms not reached AFP News - 12 hours ago

    Gambia's Yahya Jammeh agreed "in principle" to hand over power to President Adama Barrow on Friday, Mauritanian and Guinean sources said, but differences remained before a full deal could be reached. Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz … More »

  • Dollar falls, U.S. stocks end higher after Trump inauguration
    Dollar falls, U.S. stocks end higher after Trump inauguration Reuters - 12 hours ago

    The dollar ended down while U.S. stock indexes rose in the last day of a choppy trading week, as investors reacted to President Donald Trump's inaugural speech. U.S. stocks started the day higher but gave up some gains after Trump started speaking. … More »

  • TrailStone buys Cargill's power and gas group - sources
    TrailStone buys Cargill's power and gas group - sources Reuters - 12 hours ago

    Commodities trader and investor TrailStone Group has purchased Cargill Inc's gas and power trading group, three sources familiar with the deal said this week. The move, first reported by Sparkspread, comes amid a reshuffling in the power and … More »

  • Dollar falls as investors unpack inauguration speech
    Dollar falls as investors unpack inauguration speech Reuters - 12 hours ago

    The dollar edged down on Friday as investors were underwhelmed by the limited scope of executive actions and the lack of concrete policy reforms in the inauguration speech of newly sworn-in U.S. President Donald Trump. Investors had been looking to … More »

  • Oil prices jump 2 percent ahead of producers' compliance meeting
    Oil prices jump 2 percent ahead of producers' compliance meeting Reuters - 12 hours ago

    Oil prices rose more than 2 percent on Friday on expectations that this weekend's meeting of the world's top oil producers would demonstrate compliance to a global output cut deal, but rising U.S. drilling activity limited gains. Members of the … More »

 
Recent Quotes
Symbol Price Change % Chg 
Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
 
Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.172-0.002-1.15%
    N21.SI
    0.109+0.003+2.83%
    AAJ.SI
    0.121+0.006+5.22%
    40F.SI
    3.81+0.03+0.79%
    Z74.SI
    0.855-0.005-0.58%
    Y92.SI
  • % Gainers
    % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.45+0.12+36.36%
    MR8.SI
    0.44+0.09+25.71%
    AWC.SI
    0.46+0.08+21.05%
    AYB.SI
    0.52+0.07+16.85%
    E8Z.SI
    0.20+0.02+10.50%
    BDN.SI
  • % Losers
    % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.22-0.03-13.73%
    AWI.SI
    0.155-0.015-8.82%
    F86.SI
    0.113-0.010-8.13%
    D79.SI
    0.23-0.02-8.00%
    T18.SI
    0.139-0.011-7.33%
    5NF.SI

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1.4246-0.0012-0.09%
    USDSGD=X
    1.5220+0.0019+0.12%
    EURSGD=X
    1.7591+0.0004+0.02%
    GBPSGD=X
    80.1670-0.478-0.59%
    SGDJPY=X
    5.4390+0.002+0.04%
    SGDHKD=X
    3.1179-0.0011-0.04%
    SGDMYR=X
    9,436.7451+30.9307+0.33%
    SGDIDR=X
    4.8209+0.004+0.08%
    SGDCNY=X
    1.0759-0.0017-0.16%
    AUDSGD=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1,210.20+8.70+0.72%
    GCG17.CMX
    17.11+0.11+0.66%
    SIH17.CMX
    88.68+1.12+1.28%
    ^XAU
    2.620.00+0.19%
    HGH17.CMX
    52.33+0.96+1.87%
    CLG17.NYM
  • Bonds
    Bonds
    TreasuryYield (%)Yield Change
    1.94-0.01
    ^FVX
    2.47+0.01
    ^TNX
    3.05+0.01
    ^TYX