November Unemployment Report

According to today's Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the unemployment rate eased back to the 10 percent politically sensitive threshold in November from 10.2 percent in October, and payroll employment was unchanged. This marked the first fallback in the unemployment rate since July and the least worst employment numbers in nearly two years. Even with this "less bad" news (also better than markets expected), the number of people out of work remains extremely high (15.4 million people, over double the number unemployed when the recession started in December 2007). Moreover, factors behind the lower unemployment rate include drops in the labor supply and the participation rate, which usually indicate a rise in discouraged workers. Following yesterday's White House Jobs Summit, the jobs picture from today's report will fuel political pressures for additional fiscal measures to create jobs.