The private sector added 50,000 jobs in November while the government continued to shed positions as the unemployment rate edged up to 9.8 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday morning.
Non-farm payrolls increased a total of 39,000 positions, led by gains in the employment service sector and in the health care industry. But retail and manufacturing sectors shed tens of thousands of positions, led by cuts at department stores.
Government continues to shrink, losing a net 11,000 jobs last month. The federal government added just 2,000 jobs and states added 1,000 positions, but local governments laid off 14,000 people.
The November jobs report is the latest to come in below expectations. And it's the first time since August that the unemployment has ticked up, rising two-tenths of a percent. The unemployment rate has stayed steady in the last three months.
Unemployment was up among both men and women, whites and Hispanic workers. The 16 percent unemployment rate among African Americans, the highest among any ethnic group, was unchanged.