November's Unemployment Shoots Up

December 6, 2002 ( - November saw the nation's unemployment hit its highest level since April.

The US Department of Labor (DoL) released November’s unemployment rate of 6.0%, a marked increase from October’s 5.7% and the highest since a matching 6.0% in April.

November’s numbers come on the heels of three consecutive weeks of declines in initial jobless claims, with  last week’s numbers  showing jobless claims falling to their lowest numbers since February 17, 2001, at 355,000.

Nonfarm worker jobs dropped by 40,000 during the month – worse than predicted by most analysts, whose projections anticipated only 38,000 losing jobs.   Still, several areas of the economy added jobs, including the services industry (50,000) and health services (27,000), in November, the DoL said.  

Jobless Numbers

The DoL revised up the payroll numbers for the previous two months.   It reported an increase in jobs of 6,000 in October versus the 5,000 drop first reported, and it said September payrolls lost only 4,000 jobs compared to the13,000 drop in the original report.

Within the payroll report, average hourly earnings rose a mild $0.04 in November to $14.93, while the average length of the workweek remained the same at 34.2 hours.

The November report followed  October’s performance  that saw only a slight increase in the nation’s unemployment rate.