Unemployment rate remains stable to end ’09

Unemployment rates remained at 10 percent for December While the U.S. employment situation hardly ended 2009 on a positive note for jobless workers looking to consolidate debt, it was hardly disappointing either as the unemployment rate remained stable from November to December

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the national unemployment rate for December remained at 10 percent. The rates last change occurred from October to November when it dropped from 10.3 percent, the highest unemployment rate recorded since 1983.

Despite the unchanged rate, the report did note that nonfarm payroll employment had declined over the month as it edged down to 85,000. The drop was primarily due to employment declines in the construction, manufacturing, and wholesale trade industry.

"This report was worse than what we had expected. But at the same time, when looking at the last few months, the trend still shows an improvement," said Torsten Slok, a senior economist for Deutsche Bank, according to Reuters. "Of course it is disappointing that we did not see job growth, but this series is very volatile and we cannot make a strong judgment based on one month.

Despite the overall decline in payroll, both the health care and temporary help services industries – the latter of which was likely spurred by the need for extra workers during the holidays – added jobs during December.