November's .2% climb from October was a searing disappointment to economists who expected the rate to stay the same at 9.6% or decline. Business profits are up, and S&P 500 companies are sitting on buckets of cash -- but they're not putting that cash into their payrolls. Instead, they're just getting more out of their workers.
The average workweek sat at 34.3 hours, and average hourly earnings increased by just one cent to $22.75. Between 15 and 27 million people are unemployed right now, and that's the way it's been for quite some time. WSJ
The U.S. unemployment rate has now been above 9% since May 2009, or 19 months. That matches the longest stretch at such an elevated level since World War II. In the deep recession of the early 1980s, the jobless rate crept to 9% in March 1982 and remained above that mark until September 1983.