WASHINGTON — The U.S. unemployment rate in November rose 0.2 percentage point from the previous month to 9.8 percent, the highest level since April, while U.S. employers created a smaller-than-expected 39,000 nonfarm jobs for the second straight month of growth, the Labor Department said Friday.
The results are likely to rekindle concerns about the prospects for the U.S. economy and put President Barack Obama in the hot seat as he has kept saying that job creation is one of his top priorities.
The unemployment rate has moved in a range of 9.5 percent to 9.7 percent after registering 9.9 percent in April, while staying at 9.6 percent for the third month in a row since August.
The private sector generated 50,000 jobs in November, the department said in a preliminary report.
The goods-producing sector lost 15,000 jobs, with construction employment falling by 5,000 jobs and the manufacturing sector cutting 13,000 jobs.
The services sector, at normal times the engine of job creation in the United States, saw 65,000 more jobs, compared with October.
In the sector, retailers slashed 28,100 jobs, while professional and business services, including providers of consulting, accounting and computer systems, gained 53,000 jobs.
The number of jobs in the education and health services sector grew by 30,000, while the government sector cut 11,000 jobs.
The department said average hourly earnings in the private sector, a key gauge of inflation, stood at $19.19, unchanged from the previous month.