November Job Losses Highest in 34 Years

Employers slashed over a half-million jobs from their payrolls in November. It is the worst decline since 1974, and a much bigger drop than economists had predicted. That means job prospects are even more difficult for those struggling for any kind of work. Pat Hernandez has more.
Job losses set a blistering pace in November, but companies also eliminated more positions than first thought in September and October. The Labor Department pegged the total job loss since the recession began last December to about 2.7-million. Unemployment agencies like Workforce Solutions are busy helping people find work. This counselor who asked not to be identified says a lot of clients are having trouble because of barriers. image of

"Barriers could be felonies. A lot of companies won't give them a break, even though they've been on the road to recovery. And then of course, lack of skills, lack of education. People are looking for jobs and it's very very hard to find."

This man told me he thought his seniority with his company would protect him.

"Even though I'd been there five years, I wasn't there long enough. I lost my job and I've been pretty much struggling and on the street ever since."

This woman's past is keeping her from gainful employment.

"Education... and I got a felony. That's why. It's hard to look for a job with a felony."

The employment counselor knows her job is just as difficult as those who don't have one.

Hernandez: "So, the mindset from these people that you deal with might be 'I was hoping to find a job today'...right?"

Counselor: "Right. I tell everybody that the hardest job they'll ever have is finding employment. And it's frustrating, it's demeaning, and you're going to hear no, no, no, but all you need is one yes and then you've got a job."

Unemployment rose for women at 5 and a half percent. For men it was 6.5-percent.

Pat Hernandez, KUHF...Houston Public Radio News.
Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...