US Unemployment Rate
Hits Seven-Year High
By Peronet Despeignes in Washington
The Financial Times

The US unemployment rate returned to a seven-year high last month as the US lost a surprising number of jobs, according to an official report released on Friday.
The Labor Department said the unemployment rate rose to 6 per cent in November - the seven-year high it previously reached in April - as the number of payrolls outside the agricultural sector shrank by 40,000. The ongoing erosion of the US manufacturing sector contributed to the broad-based losses - the biggest payroll contraction since April.
The figures were significantly below expectations. Most economists had forecast a 40,000 to 50,000 gain in non-farm jobs and an unemployment rate of 5.8 per cent.
The report could be a severe blow to investors, who have already been expressing renewed doubts about the recovery.
The report is also likely to revive speculation about a deflation threat and bets that the Federal Reserve will lower short-term interest rates again when policymakers meet on Tuesday.


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