U.S. unemployment rate falls to 10 percent

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The national unemployment rate fell to 10 percent in November, down from a high of 10.2 percent in October.

Payroll jobs declined by 11,000, less than in previous months, a development White House officials called a “hopeful sign” that the labor market was beginning to stabilize.

The news comes as a boost to President Obama, who is scheduled to talk jobs in Allentown, Pa., today. On Thursday, the White House held a jobs forum where the administration asked the private-sector for ideas to help turn the economy around.

Randy Johnson, executive director of Southeast Minnesota Workforce Development, who attended the jobs forum, reported Thursday that attendees said they saw light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, but that it remains a long way off. Continuing problems mentioned at the roundtables he attended include tightened credit access for small businesses and a lack of money to retrain workers laid off from or looking to leave industries where jobs have dried up.

“It’s like we’ve been stacking firewood,” Johnson said. “We’ve been slowing down building the pile, but people are still not burning wood.”

Reacting to today’s unemployment report, GOP Rep. John Kline, ranking member of the House Education and Labor Committee, said: ‘”Any reduction in unemployment is welcome news, but a 10 percent unemployment rate is certainly not cause for celebration. Millions of Americans still cannot find jobs, and millions more remain so discouraged they’ve stopped seeking employment entirely.”

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 12/08/2009 - 07:50 pm.

    On a rolling 12 month basis, individual tax withheld has dropped by nearly 8% YoY, from $1.42 trillion to $1.31 trillion, while company withholdings are down 64%, from $274 billion to just under $100 billion.

    A perspective on the level of US unemployment is not whether someone is employed or partly employed (and varying obtuse definitions) but the level of wages being generated by the consumers. Only wages pay the bills (and generate economic activity), not employment definitions.

    An insight into National wages is the daily (cash) tax collections published by the Financial Management Service. The rolling 12 months figures show a consistent decline, with Nov 2009 showing a 7.6% decline from Nov 2008. Drilling down into actual monthly figures does not indicate any trend change. The rolling 12 Month Company tax payments shows a 63.95% decline to Nov 2009. Monthly net collections again show no change in trend, with the month to 4th of December showing a further refund of $14 Billion.

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