Saturday, 9 January 2010

US, Canada lose jobs, eurozone unemployment rises

Employment data out on Friday were mostly disappointing.

The US economy unexpectedly lost jobs in December. Bloomberg reports:

The U.S. unexpectedly lost 85,000 jobs in December, supporting Federal Reserve forecasts that a labor market recovery will take time and making it more likely interest rates will stay near zero for the next six months.

Payrolls fell last month after a revision showed a gain of 4,000 in November, the first in almost two years. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected no change in December. The jobless rate held at 10 percent.

The Canadian economy also unexpectedly lost jobs in December. Bloomberg reports:

Canada unexpectedly lost jobs in December, led by transportation and public administration, keeping the jobless rate close to the highest in more than a decade.

Employment fell by 2,600 last month, after a November gain of 79,100, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.5 percent, close to an 11- 1/2 year high of 8.7 percent set in August. The median forecast of 22 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 20,000 gain in employment and an unchanged jobless rate.

And in the euro area, unemployment was higher than expected in November. Again from Bloomberg:

Europe’s unemployment rate unexpectedly increased to 10 percent, the highest in more than 11 years, as companies cut costs in the wake of the worst recession in more than six decades.

November’s euro area jobless rate rose from a revised 9.9 percent in October, the European Union statistics office in Luxembourg said today. That’s the highest since August 1998. Economists forecast a November rate of 9.9 percent after the 9.8 percent initially reported for October, a Bloomberg survey showed. The euro-area economy expanded 0.4 percent in the third quarter from the previous three months, according to a separate report.

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