In November, the unemployment rate declined by 0.4 percentage point to 8.6 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The number of unemployed persons, at 13.3 million, was down by 594,000 in November.
“It does look like we are continuing to slouch toward recovery here as we add jobs at a very slow pace,” said Dr. Christine Cooper, Director of Economics and Policy Analysis, The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.
The outlook for the 5.7 million long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or longer) was not so bright as there was little change in they’re numbers and they continue to account for 43.0 percent of the unemployed.
“This is a crisis for this segment of the population,” Cooper said.
Cooper says 6.6 million unemployed have given up hope for finding jobs. She supports Congress extending unemployment benefits despite some who believe the safety net is a deterrent for some to look for jobs.
“There is an argument that extended benefits will reduce incentive to seek work. But at the moment I think there are more job applicants than there are openings. I think the competition for open positions is still pretty fierce so, I’m not so sure there’s a lot of support for that argument,” said Cooper.
Social assistance in her opinion is not just good for the unemployed it’s good for everyone.
“Adding resources to the unemployed will allow them to spend in the economy which can only help support us,” Cooper said.
Despite a dip in unemployment there are still 13 million people without jobs, and 8.5 million involuntarily working part time.
Congressman Buck McKeon issued a statement saying the tax and spend policies of the Obama administration have failed and says it’s time for the Senate and the President to “stop playing political games” with the livelihood of the people and businesses of this country.
“While it is always welcome news anytime our country creates jobs, our unemployment remains too high and our economy is not creating enough new jobs,” said Congressman McKeon.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men fell by 0.5 percentage point to 8.3 percent in November. The jobless rate for whites (7.6 percent) also declined, while the rates for adult women (7.8 percent), teenagers (23.7 percent), blacks (15.5 percent), and Hispanics (11.4 percent) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.5 percent, not seasonally adjusted.
Cooper says it’s significant that the U.S. economy has been adding jobs over the past 21 months.
“We’re going in the right direction we’re just not going fast enough. It’s just better news than worse news, Cooper said.
Unemployment numbers for California are expecting in the next two weeks.