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Unemployment Rises to 9.8 percent, Economy Adds Virtually No Private Jobs

Unemployment rose to 9.8 percent in November, up from 9.6 percent in October, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Nonfarm payroll employment edged up by only 39,000 jobs. Employment across most sectors remained virtually unchanged, with temporary services and health care adding workers.

More than 15 million people were unemployed in November. Another 390,000 people lost or finished temporary jobs in November. Long-term unemployed people, those without employment for at least 27 weeks, comprised 41.9 percent of the unemployed.

The number of discouraged workers increased significantly from the previous year. In November 2010, there were 1.3 million discouraged workers, an increase of 421,000 from November 2009. These workers have stopped looking for jobs because they say no jobs are available for them.

Employment in manufacturing was virtually unchanged, with manufacturing industries shedding 13,000 jobs in November.

These employment trends reflect some economists' predictions that higher unemployment rates will persist although the general economy is officially out of recession.

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