With fears that a jobless recovery is looming, the Department of Labor’s report that November 2009 unemployment was down to 10.0 percent from 10.2 percent in October is a bit of good news. Although a .2 percent decline in unemployment doesn’t mean that a jobless recovery isn’t happening, a decline is a decline and it should be celebrated.
In November, 15.4 million Americans were unemployed with teenagers and minorities, and adult males posting higher than average unemployment figures. Of these population groups, teenagers are still the most unemployed population with a 26.7 percent unemployment rate.
Unfortunately, programs targeted to at-risk youths, like those employed at California recycling facilities, are the focus of many budget cuts. As these programs are cut, the teenage unemployment rate will continue to spike.
Construction job losses continued during November, however the rapid increase in unemployed construction workers has slowed a bit. Between November 2008 and April 2009, construction job losses averaged 117,000 per month. This dropped to an average of 63,000 per month between May and October. In November 2009, the industry only realized 27,000 job losses. This decrease in job losses may be due, at least partly, to the increased focus on green building projects.
As has been the case throughout the recession, health care and temporary jobs rose. More than 50,000 new temporary jobs and 21,000 health care jobs were added in November 2009. Other professionals within the professional and business services segment also experienced a rise with more than 30,000 new positions added.
Although the 10 percent unemployment rate is still exorbitant, the fact that it is lower than October 2009 has to be at least a bit of good news amidst all the economic doom and gloom.