After staying at 9.6% for the past few months, unemployment rose to 9.8% much to the surprise of financial experts and analysts. Unemployment figures have been slowly decreasing the past four months after reaching an all-time high at the end of 2009, peaking above 10%.
Economists had already dismissed any hope of a quick recovery due to the nearly static unemployment rate. It is almost as if our job market has taken two steps back as the news of the 2% increase has hit the media outlets. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics released their monthly Employment Situation Summary showing that the number of unemployed persons rose to 15.1 million in November causing the percentage rise to 9.8%, a 7-month high.
Categories October 2010 November 2010 Change from: Oct. 2010- Nov. 2010
Civilian Labor Force: Employed 139,061 138,888 -173
Civilian Labor Force: Unemployed 14,843 15,119 276
Total Unemployed, 16 years and over 9.6 9.8 .2
Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs 9,108 9,498 390
Job leavers 854 862 8
Reentrants 3,512 3,451 -61
New entrants 1,273 1,238 -35
Could only find part-time work 2,572 2,569 -3
Discouraged workers (Not Seasonally Adjusted) 1,219 1,282 -
This is unwelcome news, especially as the holiday season begins. The alarming increase shows that federal attempts to stimulate job growth and quicken the economic recovery are not working. Politicians have seen this report as an opportunity to push different policies in Congress such as unemployment benefits and tax cuts. Taxes are expected to rise in January if Congress does not step in and nix the planned increases.
It is the hope that November is an oddity in the unemployment figures, some analysts are speculating that many factors were not considered in the report. One such factor: the inflated rate of seasonal adjustments due to the upcoming holidays. Some suspect that the Bureau of Labor Statistics over accounted with 1.3 million jobs for changes in retail, public education, construction, arts and entertainment set to increase hiring this season. If that is the case, numbers are expected to normalize when the December Employment Situation Summary is released the first Friday of January.