US unemployment surges, over 500,000 jobs lost

December 6th, 2008 - 12:20 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 5 (DPA) The US unemployment rate climbed to 6.7 percent in November amid a loss of 533,000 jobs, the worst monthly drop since 1974 and dramatically worse than economists expected, the US government said Friday.The new figures put the US economy on track for more than two million lost jobs in 2008 as it grapples with a protracted recession.

The Labour Department said a revised 403,000 jobs were lost in October and 320,000 in September. So far, 1.91 million jobs were lost in 2008.

The Labour Department said job losses were “large and widespread” across all sectors of the world’s largest economy. Health care was one of the only bright spots.

Economists had predicted a decline of only 335,000 in November, according to a Bloomberg News survey. The unemployment rate stood at 6.5 percent in October.

Earlier this week, the National Bureau of Economic Research officially declared the US has been in recession since December 2007, citing the declining jobs numbers as a key reason for its finding.

President-elect Barack Obama has promised to introduce a massive fiscal stimulus package after he takes office Jan 20 to help create 2.5 million jobs in the US economy.

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