WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP)__ The nation's unemployment rate climbed to 9.8% in November, a seven-month high, as hiring slowed. Employers added only 39,000 jobs last month, a sharp decline from the 172,000 created in October. The weakness was widespread: retailers, factories, construction companies, financial firms and the government all cut jobs last month.
Private Companies, the backbone of the economy, created 50,000 jobs. That was down significantly from the 160,000 private-sector jobs created in October and was the smallest gain since January.
With hiring so weak, the unemployment rate rose from 9.6% to 9.8%. The jobless rate has now topped 9 percent for 19 straight months, the longest stretch on record.
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