The United States has some of the highest levels of long-term unemployment — out of work longer than six months. More than 15 million people remained out of work last month, and 6.3 million of them have been unemployed for six months or longer, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
On the other hand, job growth has been, and looks to remain, disappointingly slow, indicating that those out of work for a while are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Even if the government report on Friday shows the expected improvement in hiring by business, it will not be enough to make a real dent in those totals.
In a jolting surprise to the economic recovery and market expectations, the United States economy added just 39,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent, according to the Department of Labor.
November’s numbers were far below the consensus forecast of close to 150,000 jobs added and an unchanged unemployment rate of 9.6 percent.
In addition, the latest numbers included 14,000 local government job losses, which could accelerate if legislatures and city councils are forced to prune further to deal with shrinking budgets and larger deficits. Many risks remain for the american economy with President Obama’s deficit commission examining long-term spending cuts, unemployment benefits expiring and a Congressional fight over taxes looming, consumer spending, which has recently shown signs of life, are under analysis. That, in turn, could cause businesses to reconsider hiring plans.
Source: The New York Times