The Labor Department reported Friday morning that the nation's unemployment rate has increased to 9.8%.
The report shows the economy added only 39,000 jobs last month. That number is huge disappointment for analysts who had been predicting an increase between 150,000 and 200,000 jobs.
Friday's unemployment rate is a seven-month high.
The 39,000 jobs added last month are 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 percent
to 9.8 percent. The jobless rate has now topped 9 percent for 19
straight months, the longest stretch since records have been kept.