November employment data show the recession has worsened.

Payrolls printed a far-worse-than-expected 533,000 decline in their biggest drop since December 1974, and the October-September revisions totaled a massive 199,000 plunge, which is equivalent to another month of job losses.

The civilian unemployment rate jumped another 0.2 points to 6.7%, its highest since October 1993 and up 1.7 points since recession officially began in December 2007. Rising unemployment came despite a jump in the number of people not in the labor force.

The one point of light in the report was higher wages. Average hourly earnings gained 0.4% for a 3.7% increase over the year, but this reflects gains in metals and transportation manufacturing that stems from the end of the w strike. Wages will not rise at this pace as employment falls.

Hours fell, suggesting lower production and incomes in upcoming data.

Payrolls’ only gains were in health care, up 42,500, and state government education, up 5,400. Elsewhere, manufacturing posted an 85,000 drop, construction fell 82,000, retail slid 91,300, and transportation declined 31,500; there also were widespread drops in services totaling 370,000.

One-month employment diffusion was 27.5%, confirming widespread job losses.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics commissioner pointed out that “over the past three months, job losses have averaged 419,000 per month, sharply higher than the average loss of 82,000 per month from January through August. About two-thirds of the recent job declines have occurred in the service-producing sector of the economy. In the first eight months of this year, job losses were largely limited to construction and manufacturing.”

This is another dismal report suggesting the U.S. is in the middle of a severe recession.

— Market News International

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