The economy lost more jobs in December and the unemployment rate was unchanged, signs that a sluggish economic recovery has yet to revive hiring. The Labor Department says employers cut 85,000 jobs last month, worse than the 8,000 drop analysts expected. A sharp drop in the labor force, a sign more of the jobless are giving up on their search for work, kept the unemployment rate at 10%, the same as in November.
Revisions to the previous two months' data showed the economy actually generated 4,000 jobs in November, the first gain in nearly two years, while it lost 16,000 more than previously estimated in October. "We are in for a long, hard slog in the labor market," said an economist at Nomura Securities.