U.S. economists are stunned by November's job loss rate. This is after 2 million Americans have seen an end to their unemployment benefits while 15.1 million people are still without a job.
U.S. employers added 39,000 jobs to their payrolls in November, the Labor Department reported. That marks a major slowdown from October, when the economy added an upwardly revised 172,000 jobs.
U.S. economists had expected November's increase in jobs to be anywhere from 97,000 conservatively all the way up to 150,000.
While private businesses continued to hire for the eleventh month in a row, they also missed expectations. Companies added just 50,000 jobs to their payrolls in October, falling short of the 175,000 jobs economists had predicted for the sector.
As gains were primarily in the services industry, the retail sector surprised experts the most with the loss of 28,000 jobs in November.
The unemployment rate, which is calculated in a separate survey, unexpectedly ticked up to 9.8% after holding at 9.6% for the prior three months.