November saw 553,000 Americans lose their jobs, according to a Labor Department non-farm payrolls report, the steepest drop in 34 years. The number exceeded even the grimmest predictions in Bloomberg’s survey of 73 analysts. “The labor market capsized in November,” said one economist. “The financial panic has hammered the economy, and we are seeing a very broad-based decline in payrolls.”
The loss comes on the heel of a revised loss of 320,000 jobs in October, bringing the current jobless rate to 6.7%, its highest level since 1993. Payrolls are expected to slide even lower next year, as companies feel the pain from reduced consumer spending.