January 8 The U.S. economy lost 85,000 jobs in December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported this morning. The report sent ripples through the stock market and confounded the forecasts of many economists.
However, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 10%, said the BLS report, as did the number of unemployed persons, at 15.3 million.
The unemployment rate hit a 26-year high of 10.2% in October. At the start of the recession in December 2007, there were 7.7 million unemployed persons and the unemployment rate was 5%, BLS said.
There has been a gradual improvement in the national jobs period during the last several months. The U.S. Labor Department revised November jobs figures to show that the economy actually gained 4,000. The initial figures indicated a loss of 11,000 jobs. With revisions to the October figures, the economy lost slightly more jobs over the two months than originally reported.
Economists generally agree that the U.S. and world economies are in recovery, but the strength and tempo of the recovery will depend on when job growth resumes and how quickly.