Quick Takes | Wages, Incomes, and Wealth

Job loss moderated in November, but long-term unemployment still rising

New employment data for November show a dramatic moderating of job loss – payroll jobs declined by 11,000, the smallest loss since the recession started in December 2007. Other good news was that the average work week increased from 33 hours to 33.2 hours, a positive signal that employers are on the verge of hiring.
Unemployment edged down to 10% in November from 10.2% in October, though that was likely in part a correction to the uncharacteristically large jump in unemployment last month. Long-term unemployment continues to rise. Nearly 300,000 workers crossed the six-months-unemployed threshold in November, bringing the number of long-term unemployed workers to 5.9 million.
All told, this report shows that there is finally some healing in the labor market, as indicated by both increased hours and payroll employment remaining essentially unchanged. Unemployment, however, is expected to continue on an upward trend until we start adding jobs in a meaningful way, which will likely not happen until next spring or summer.” -Heidi Shierholz

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