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U.S. Unemployment Rate Report


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November Unemployment Rate Essentially Unchanged

Employment rose in November, 2004 and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.4 percent, according to the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The unemployment rate has been 5.4 or 5.5 percent since July, slightly below the prevailing rates in the first half of 2004.

Although nonfarm employment increased, it was a disappointing gain according to CBS MarketWatch. At 112,000 jobs (seasonally adjusted), it was only about half of the gain that investors expected. (October saw a larger gain of 303,000 nonfarm jobs.) The unemployment rate dipping back to 5.4 percent was the better news for November.

  • A total of 8 million workers were unemployed in November, essentially unchanged from October.
  • The employed population age 16 and over edged up to 62.5 percent.
  • Service-providing industries had the most employment gains, including health care, social assistance, leisure and hospitality.
  • Professional and technical services netted 16,000 jobs: computer systems design and related services added 10,000, while architectural and engineering services added 8,000.

For the complete unemployment rate report, visit the BLS Website.

Note: All figures are subject to revision by the BLS, as more information becomes available in the weeks following the initial report.

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