Breaking Down the November Unemployment Numbers

Unemployment rose little in November, with the official rate edging up slightly from 9.6 percent to 9.8 percent.


The government’s broadest measure of unemployment stayed steady at 17 percent. This figure includes the unemployed plus all who are only marginally attached to the labor force, plus those employed part time for economic reasons. This means people who worked as little as one hour a week are included.

The average number of weeks workers are unemployed basically remained unchanged, with most workers experiencing almost 34 weeks of unemployment.

In November 39,000 new jobs were added. However, this amounted to only a quarter of the 151,000 new jobs that were added in October.

And November saw 107,000 unemployed workers newly hitting the 27 week mark — those the Bureau of Labor Statistics considers ‘long-term unemployed’ — making 6.3 million long-term unemployed workers.

This post was updated at 5:26 p.m. on Dec. 3, 2010

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