BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Business
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Market Data 
Economy 
Companies 
E-Commerce 
Your Money 
Business Basics 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Friday, 8 December, 2000, 14:30 GMT
US unemployment rises
shoppers
Consumers have been driving record US growth
The US unemployment rate rose to 4% in November, from 3.9% a month earlier, according to Labor Department figures.

Excluding agricultural workers there were 95,000 new jobs created in the month - short of the 148,000 jobs created in October.

Average hourly earnings, seen as an important guide to inflation pressures, rose 0.4% for the month

The weaker than expected job figures was blamed on fewer government jobs and weakness in the service and manufacturing sectors.

These losses were partially recouped by new tech sector and financial sector jobs.

The Labor Department, in a separate household survey, said the number of unemployed people rose by 183,000 to 5.68 million in November.

A fall in overtime has now led to the average factory working week to their lowest levels since the early 1990s.

Slowing economy

The figures will be taken as further evidence that the US economy is beginning to slow from the torrid growth rates of more than 5% acheived in the spring.

Most economists argue that such a slowdown is necessary, after more than eight years of steady economic growth, the longest boom in US economic history.

And the figures have led to renewed speculation that the US central bank, the Fed, would eventually lower interest rates.

"The economy is starting to show some slack in terms of employment. I think this nudges the Fed toward a neutral stance at the December 19 meeting and raises the opportunity for a cut in rates in January," said Barry Hyman of Weatherly Securities.

But there were some worries that the higher than expected increase in average earnings could mean that there were still inflationary pressures in the economy.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

13 Jun 00 | Business
US retail sales drop
03 Mar 00 | Business
US jobs growth slows
05 May 00 | Business
US jobless lowest since 1970
16 May 00 | Business
US interest rates up 0.5%
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories