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.”