One step forward, two steps back on unemployment: 85,000 jobs lost in December
The bad news is that the seeming progress in employment that the country saw in November, when the American economy added jobs for the first time in two years, was squashed in December—85,000 non-farming jobs were lost last month, and overall the unemployment figure stayed at 10%. The really bad news is that it should be a lot worse than the numbers are showing: record numbers of prospective workers are dropping out of the labor force completely and unemployed people had been jobless for an average of 29 weeks in December, the longest duration since the government began tracking the data. When will people start to be hired again?
Sylvia Allegretto, labor economist, at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the University of California at Berkeley