Nonfarm Payrolls -524k, Unemployment Rate 7.2%

The economists nailed this one, as estimates had been for losses of 520k jobs in December. So-called “whisper” estimates of 600k+ jobs lost were too severe.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in December is now 7.2%

For 2008, the economy shed a grand total of 2.8 million jobs. And that’s before the December numbers get revised worse.

Overall, the numbers were better than the worst fears, and the futures are tacking up modestly on the news.

Developing.

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