Report Shows Volatile Employment Scene

By Toni Vranjes

January 8, 2010

Following a brief period of job creation, employers have cut their payrolls once again.

The economy lost 85,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department reported today. In contrast, employers added 4,000 jobs the previous month, according to revised figures released by the department.

The unemployment rate stayed at 10 percent.

Payrolls fell in construction, manufacturing and wholesale trade. Meanwhile, employment jumped in temporary help services and health care.

Despite the setback in December, job losses have moderated over the long term, notes Christina Romer, chair of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. In the first quarter of 2009, the average loss was 691,000 per month, compared to 69,000 per month during the last quarter.

“It is essential that we continue our efforts to move in the right direction and replace job losses with robust job gains,” she wrote in a blog post.

Overall, the economy lost 4.2 million jobs in 2009.

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