U.S. employers laid off 533,000 employees in November, the most in 34 years and far more than expected, according to government data, as the year-old recession continues to hammer every corner of the U.S. economy.
employers axed payrolls by 533,000 jobs in November, the most in 34 years and
far more than expected, government data on Friday showed, as the year-old
recession hammered every corner of the U.S.
markets opened lower, oil prices and the dollar weakened and U.S.
government bond prices rallied as the data showed the U.S.
downturn was deepening.
"You can't get much uglier than this. The economy has just collapsed,
and has gone into a free fall," said Richard Yamarone, chief economist at
Argus Research in New York.
The Labor Department said the unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent last
month, the highest since 1993, from 6.5 percent in October. It would have been
even higher except for an exodus of Americans who became discouraged in their
search for work and left the labor force.
"This is a clear employment blowout. Firms are reacting as dramatically
as they can to make sure they have cost structures they can survive the
recession," said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland,
The dismal data sparked calls for aggressive government action to shore up
an economy that appears to be facing its deepest downturn since the early
"This jobs picture painted today is staggering, and it should be all
the evidence Washington needs to
act swiftly and decisively to shore up this economy," said Sen. Charles
Schumer, a New York Democrat who chairs the congressional Joint Economic
Broadening economic weakness has already prompted the U.S. Federal Reserve
to dramatically lower interest rates to 1 percent and it is expected to trim
its benchmark federal funds target toward zero later this month and next, while
also exploring other unconventional measures to support growth.
A worldwide credit crisis
mounting defaults on U.S.
mortgages has pushed economies around the globe into or toward recession. Canada
said earlier on Friday its economy shed 70,600 jobs in November, the most since