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WASHINGTON – The economy lost more jobs than expected in December while the unemployment rate held steady at 10 percent, as a sluggish economic recovery has yet to revive hiring among the nation's employers.
The Labor Department said Friday that employers cut 85,000 jobs last month, worse than the 8,000 drop analysts expected.
A sharp drop in the labor force, a sign more of the jobless are giving up on their search for work, kept the unemployment rate at the same rate as in November. Once people stop looking for jobs, they are no longer counted among the unemployed.
When discouraged workers and part-time workers who would prefer full-time jobs are included, the so-called "underemployment" rate in December rose to 17.3 percent, from 17.2 percent in October. That's just below a revised figure of 17.4 percent in October, the highest on records dating from 1994.
Revisions to the previous two months' data showed the economy actually generated 4,000 jobs in November, the first gain in nearly two years. But the revisions showed it also lost 16,000 more jobs than previously estimated in October.
The report caps a disastrous year for U.S. workers. Employers cut 4.2 million jobs in 2009, and the unemployment rate averaged 9.3 percent. That's compared to an average of 5.8 percent in 2008 and 4.6 percent in 2007. The economy has lost more than 8 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007.
Most economists worry that 2010 won't be much better. Federal Reserve officials, in a meeting last month, anticipated that unemployment will decline "only gradually," according to minutes of the meeting released earlier this week. The Fed and most private economists expect the unemployment rate will remain above 9 percent through the end of this year.
If jobs remain scarce, consumer confidence and spending could flag, potentially slowing the economic recovery. Many analysts estimate the economy grew by 4 percent or more at an annual rate in the October-December quarter, after 2.2 percent growth in the third quarter.
But the economy will need to grow faster than that to bring down the unemployment rate. And the concern is that much of the recovery stems from temporary factors, such as government stimulus efforts and businesses rebuilding inventories.
Other figures from the government's report were mixed: the average work week remained unchanged at 33.2 hours, near October's record low of 33. Most economists hoped that would increase, as employers are likely to add hours for their current employees before hiring new workers.
On the positive side, there was a big jump in temporary hiring of 46,500, bringing the total increase in temporary employment to 166,000 since July. Companies also customarily bring on temporary workers before adding permanent ones.
Job losses remained widespread: manufacturing lost 27,000 jobs and construction shed 53,000, while retailers, the leisure and hospitality industries and government also cut workers



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There is very little confidence among business owners right now. No one is willing to risk any kind of expansion or investment with Obama/Reid/Pigosi in charge.
 

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I am an employer and let someone go in late November. I have zero confidence in this administration and am seeing no signs of any recovery in the near future. While I could of kept the person on I felt it would be more prudent to run a lean operation, work even harder to maintain profitability. That stimulus package is really helping out:huh:
 

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I am an employer and let someone go in late November. I have zero confidence in this administration and am seeing no signs of any recovery in the near future. While I could of kept the person on I felt it would be more prudent to run a lean operation, work even harder to maintain profitability. That stimulus package is really helping out:huh:

We did the exact same thing. This time last year we were running about 30 employees, we now have 6 and are looking to bump a couple more and do enough work to cover overhead. Its not worth sticking your neck out for a fraction of the profits we were getting a year ago and risk not getting paid. I dont see any sign of recovery, contrary to what you may hear on the boob tube.
 

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I am an employer and let someone go in late November. I have zero confidence in this administration and am seeing no signs of any recovery in the near future. While I could of kept the person on I felt it would be more prudent to run a lean operation, work even harder to maintain profitability. That stimulus package is really helping out:huh:
Can't blame you.. Obama asked banks to lend to small businesses. That was two months ago. Today if you own a business it is harder to get a loan that it was 60 days ago. They don't give a $hit what he says. This guy is a 3 year lame duck...



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I'm never surprised by these numbers and yet these knuckle heads are always shocked to see the "unexpected". :please:

If they are such experts then why do they never find exactly what they think they know so well? :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

If we are not at 11.2% unemployment by the end of this year I will finally be shocked. That's my prediction and I'm sticking to it. ;)
 
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