Labor Report: Unexpected December Job Losses of 85,000

January 8, 2010

(ChattahBox)—The Labor Department’s report came out today, showing unexpected job losses for the month of December, although the unemployment rate, expected to tip over the ten percent mark, held steady. Still, the new report comes as a disappointment, at a time when job losses were expected to decrease. The new labor figures show the uncertainty of the recessionary economy, as it struggles to recover in fits and starts. November’s report for example, was a surprise, but a welcome one, as the government expected a loss of 11,000 jobs and instead, the figures showed an increase of 4,000 jobs.

The new Labor Department figures showed a startling loss of 85,000 jobs. Julia Coronado, senior United States economist at BNP Paribas, said “Eventually we will see some job growth, but there are a lot of weak patches still in the economy.”

The report shows that during the month of December, the construction and manufacturing sectors suffered from the most job losses. But in a good sign, the temporary employment sector, showed increases for the fifth consecutive month.

According to the new figures, about 15.3 million Americans remained unemployed. And 39.8 percent of the unemployed have been out of work for six months or more.

Christina D. Romer, chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, called the report a “setback,” but remained confident that the unemployment rate would soon begin to improve. “It is important not to read too much into any one monthly report, positive or negative,” said Romer in a statement.

Economists note that the figures for the past few months, still indicate a trending towards a reduction in job losses and expect actual job creation in 2010.

Still, December’s report is certainly gloomy, which will put additional pressure on the Obama administration to focus on a job creation bill, during the new legislative session, as soon as health care reform is passed.

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