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'Weak Jobs Data Dash Hopes of Accelerating Recovery'

"Recovery Jolt: Few New Jobs as Jobless Rate Rises to 9.8%" (New York Times) "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. 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. 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."

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"Weak Jobs Data Dash Hopes of Accelerating Recovery" (Wall Street Journal) The unemployment rate has now been above 9% since May 2009, or 19 months. That matches the longest stretch at such an elevated level since the Second World War. In the previous deep recession of the early 1980s, the jobless rate crept to 9% in March 1982 and remained above that mark until September 1983.

"US jobs market woe dampens optimism" (The Telegraph) "Given the country's retail and manufacturing sectors have shown signs of strengthening in recent weeks, others cautioned that it's too early to draw firm conclusions from just one report. Retailers had reported strong sales during last weekend's Thanksgiving sales, the start of a critical period of consumer spending. While a separate report today from the Institute of Supply Management showed that the US services industry grew at the fastest pace in six months in November. Nigel Gault, the chief US economist at IHS Global Insight said that he suspects the report from the Labour Department is an "an outlier—on the downside—but it does underline that the recovery remains a gradual one."

"An ugly jobs report" (Washington Post) "It's not that these numbers are catastrophic: They're worse than October but better than September. They're just evidence that the labor market's recovery hasn't taken hold yet—and that is catastrophic. This likely explains why the Federal Reserve is agitating for not just quantitative easing, which it can simply do on its own, but more fiscal stimulus, which Congress would need to approve."

"Unemployment jumps, job creation slows. Is economic stall-out here?" (Christian Science Monitor) "The only bright spot was temp services, which added 40,000 workers. This increase was no surprise to Roy Krause, CEO of Ft. Lauderdale-based SFN Group, one of the nation’s largest suppliers of temporary workers." Bright spot? It seems reasonable to wonder if this number represents permanent positions that were lost—and replaced by lower paid temps.