November's Big Ugly Jobs Report

Posted on December 5, 2008

The November jobs report is out and it is even uglier than analysts were expecting. 533,000 jobs were lost in November and unemployment climbed from 6.5% to 6.7%. As the Wall Street Journal says the report is blecch. Total wise it was the biggest job in three decades but percentage wise there were bigger one month falls in 1980 says Time.
What it still isn't is a historic drop: It's yet another sign that this recession is a much bigger deal than the last two, in 2001 and 1990-91. But in percentage terms (it was a 0.39% drop) there were bigger one month falls in employment in 1980 and, repeatedly, in 1974 and 1975. There were also sharper drops in almost every year of the 1950s, but those were mostly the result of temporary layoffs that were reversed a few months later.
The October and numbers were also revised upward 320,000 from 240,000. The jobs report statement from the Bureau of Labor Statistics can be found here.