The nation's unemployment rate climbed to 9.8% in November, a seven-month high, as hiring slowed. The jobless rate has now topped 9% for 19 straight months, the longest stretch on record. Employers added only 39,000 jobs last month, a sharp decline from the 172,000 created in October. The weakness was widespread: Retailers, factories, construction companies, financial firms, and the government all cut jobs. Private companies, the backbone of the economy, created 50,000 jobs, down significantly from the 160,000 the month prior, and the smallest gain since January.