That's way more than most anyone had expected (the projection, on average, was about 350,000) and is the worst monthly loss since December of 1974. Overall, nearly 2 million jobs have been lost this year. The unemployment rate rose as well, but only to 6.7 percent from 6.5 percent in October. That's a suspiciously low number and may reflect lots of folks who have given up looking for a job. From the NYT:
The International Council of Shopping Centers on Thursday described November sales at stores open at least a year as the weakest in more than 30 years. With all this in mind, and particularly the shrinking employment rolls, economists are estimating that the gross domestic product is contracting at an annual rate of 4 percent or more in the fourth quarter, after a decline of 0.3 percent in the third quarter.
*"This is almost indescribably terrible," says Ian Shepherdson of High Frequency Economics.
"This was much worse than was expected and represents wholesale capitulation. The threat of a widespread depression is now real and present," said Peter Morici at the University of Maryland.
Phil Izzo at Real Time Economics has more reaction, if you can stomach it.