Worst Month Since December 1974

Oh, what a month! The U.S. lost 533,000 jobs in November, the highest rate in 34 years (since 1974). This moves the nation’s unemployment rate to 6.7%; it was 6.5% in October.

According to fresh Labor Department data, economists had actually predicted a 6.8% unemployment rate for November — yet they only predicted that 320,000 jobs would be slashed.

Either way, this is bad news across the board: construction employment was down by 82,000 over the month; retail trade employment fell by 91,000 in November, with the largest job loss among automobile dealers (-24,000); and leisure and hospitality employment lost 76,000 jobs in November.

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If you’re looking to transition to a niche recruiting business, perhaps healthcare is where you should look. In contrast to most industries, healthcare added 34,000 jobs in November and has increased by 341,000 so far this year. According to BLS data, the November gain reflected jobs added in nursing and residential care facilities, hospitals, and physicians’ offices.

So, what’s your niche? If it’s not healthcare (or going to be healthcare one of these days), what is your speciality and how are you faring in the face of this recession?

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.