Even though today's non-farm payrolls report was weaker than expected (-85K vs 0K est.), November's report was revised from a loss of 11K to a gain of 4K. Unless this reading is revised again next month, November's gain (albeit small) puts an end to the longest monthly streak of job declines since at least 1940. Beginning in January 2008, the US economy posted a record 22 consecutive months of job losses for a total decline of 7.16 mln jobs. If we include December's losses in the calculation, the US economy has now lost 7.24 mln jobs over the last two years.
Given the fact that the US economy just went through its longest streak of monthly job losses in at least seventy years, there really is no way to sugarcoat the misery in the US labor force over the past 2+ years. Even if we look at the data based on a percentage of the US workforce, the declines are among the highest ever. Over the last two years, total nonfarm payrolls are down 5.24%. The only other time where we saw a larger decline over a two-year stretch was back in 1946, when total non-farm payrolls declined by nearly 10%. However, we would note that back in 1946 we were transitioning out of a war time and into a peace time economy. At any rate, the numbers are clearly trending in the right direction now and the worst definitely appears to be over for this cycle.
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