Quick Takes | Jobs and Unemployment

Unemployment unchanged at 10% as labor force shrinks

The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the jobs situation continued to worsen at the end of 2009 as 85,000 jobs were lost in December. Unemployment held steady at 10.0%, but only because the labor force declined by well over half a million (661,000) workers in December. If those workers had been in the labor force and counted as unemployed, the unemployment rate would have risen to 10.4%. Long term unemployment continued to rise, with nearly 40% of all unemployed workers being unemployed for more than six months. Unfortunately, the hoped-for positive job growth has not yet materialized and we are still seeing modest job losses. -Heidi Shierholz

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