A Rocky Report of November Jobs

By December 5, 2008General

No point in sugarcoating the bad employment figures from November. From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

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.

As to those industry sectors…

In November, employment continued to decline in manufacturing (-85,000), with widespread job losses occurring among the component industries. Manufacturing employment has declined by 604,000 since December. Within durable goods manufacturing, job losses occurred in November in fabricated metal products (-15,000), machinery (-11,000), wood products (-9,000), furniture and related products (-7,000), primary metals (-7,000), and computer and electronic products (-7,000). Employment in transportation equipment edged up, as a return of 27,000 aerospace workers from strike more than offset a job loss in motor vehicle and parts (-13,000). In the nondurable goods component, job losses occurred in plastics and rubber products (-12,000), printing and related support activities (-5,000), and textile mills (-5,000).

News coverage, commentary:

President Bush repeated his call to use the existing section 136 program from the Department of Energy, the $25 billion already appropriated by Congress:

I am concerned about the viability of the automobile companies. I’m concerned about those who work for the automobile companies and their families. And likewise, I am concerned about taxpayer money being provided to those companies that may not survive. Put out a detailed plan recently that uses money that Congress appropriated last fall for the auto industry — money that can be used so long as the companies make hard choices on all aspects of their business to prove that they can not only survive but thrive.

It is important that Congress act next week on this plan. And it’s important to make sure that taxpayers’ money be paid back if any is given to the companies.

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