Friday, December 3, 2010
The U.S. economy added fewer jobs than economists expected in November as the national unemployment rate rose to 9.8%, dashing hopes that the recovery is gaining momentum.
U.S. unemployment rate has now been above 9% since May 2009, or 19 months. This 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.
According to a report in the New York Times, the longer people remain unemployed, the more trouble they have finding new work.
That is a fact of life in Europe, with its underclass of permanently idle workers, knows all too well. But it is a lesson that the United States seems to be just learning.
So the legions of long-term unemployed American workers will probably remain unemployed significantly longer than their counterparts in past recessions, reducing their chances of eventually finding a job even when the economy recovers.