Unemployment shocker: Only 11,000 jobs gone

Best economic news of the year: The unemployment rate falls to 10 percent

By Andrew Leonard
December 4, 2009 6:40PM (UTC)
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Optimistic labor market analysts were predicting that the U.S. economy would shed at least another 100,000 jobs in November. The actual number, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics? A mere 11,000. The unemployment rate even fell, from 10.2 to 10 percent.

The numbers are a big surprise. As the BLS notes, "in the prior 3 months, payroll job losses had averaged 135,000 a month." But even such a negligible loss represents the 23 straight month in which the labor market contracted, which hasn't happened since the 1930s, so the champagne should stay in the fridge.  I'll have much more analysis in a follow-up post. But for now, this is by far the best news on unemployment we've seen all year, and it raises the very real possibility that the economy could start to add jobs in December.

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Further analysis here.


Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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