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U.S. unemployment stays in double digits

The U.S. unemployment rate edged down to 10 percent in November, and non-farm payroll employment was essentially unchanged (-11,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

In the prior three months, payroll job losses had averaged 135,000 a month. In November, employment fell in construction, manufacturing and information, while temporary help services and healthcare added jobs.

In November, both the number of unemployed persons, at 15.4 million, and the unemployment rate, at 10 percent, edged down. At the start of the recession in Dec. 2007, the number of unemployed persons was 7.5 million, and the jobless rate was 4.9 percent.

In November, the average workweek for production and non-supervisory workers on private non-farm payrolls rose by 0.2 hour to 33.2 hours. The manufacturing workweek increased by 0.3 hour to 40.4 hours. Factory overtime rose by 0.1 hour to 3.4 hours. Since May, the manufacturing workweek has increased by 1.0 hour. (See table B-2.)

In November, average hourly earnings of production and non-supervisory workers on private non-farm payrolls edged up by 1 cent, or 0.1 percent, to $18.74.

Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.2 percent, while average weekly earnings have risen by 1.6 percent.

The change in total non-farm payroll employment for September was revised from -219,000 to -139,000, and the change for October was revised from -190,000 to -111,000.

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