Good News on Jobs Front but Still no Signs of a "Robust" Recovery

The unemployment rate fell back to 10.0 percent in November as the pace of job loss slowed to 11,000 for the month. Job loss for the prior two months was also revised downward by 159,000, bringing the average rate of job loss over the last three months to 87,000.

The improved jobs picture in the establishment data is explained by a slower rate of job loss in construction and manufacturing, accompanied by a substantial increase in temporary employment. Construction employment fell by just 27,000 in November. It had been falling at a rate close to 60,000 a month recently and a rate of more than 100,000 a month last winter. Nearly all of the decline is in the non-residential sector. This drop may accelerate in future months as non-residential construction declines further, while employment in the residential sector is likely to remain flat.

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