Unemployment Drops, Manufacturing Loses Jobs in November

By December 4, 2009Economy

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its November employment report, with unemployment falling from 10.2 percent to 10 percent. Manufacturing is the biggest loser:

Total nonfarm payroll employment was essentially unchanged in November (-11,000). Job losses in the construction, manufacturing, and information industries were offset by job gains in temporary help services and health care. Since the recession began, payroll employment has decreased by 7.2
million. (See table B-1.)

Construction employment declined by 27,000 over the month. Job losses had averaged 117,000 per month during the 6 months ending in April and 63,000 per month from May through October. In November, construction job losses were concentrated among nonresidential specialty trade contractors
(-29,000).

Manufacturing employment fell by 41,000 in November. The average monthly decline for the past 5 months (-46,000) was much lower than the average monthly job loss for the first half of this year (-171,000). About 2.1 million manufacturing jobs have been lost since December 2007; the majority of
this decline has occurred in durable goods manufacturing (-1.6 million).

The NAM will have a statement later this morning.

Others note that the lower unemployment rate may result from people giving up the job search and leaving the labor market. Samuel Staley at the Reason Foundation also observes:

[We] need to be careful not to confusing stabilizing unemployment with real job creation. If the new jobless number is an indicator of the economy reaching its trough in the business cycle, meaningful job creation will require jump starting private investment that adds real economic value. That’s not a matter of redistributing dollars and spending in the economy. It’s about re-aligning investment priorities in ways that generate profitable returns for businesses creating products and services in line with the needs of businesses and consumers.

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  • Karl says:

    But we have NAFTA, CAFTA and FTAA….. it’s not possible to lose manufacturing jobs when we have all those markets to sell our widgets. You told us that those free trade agreements were going to make things better. China as most favored nation was supposed to help us export to that great nation. But, but, but free trade cures all…… yet we wallow in unemployment Neverland wishing to give away more jobs.

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