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Unemployment Rate Rises To 9.8%

The nation's official unemployment rate rose to 9.8% in November from 9.6% in each of the previous three months,  the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported.

The widely watched "nonfarm payroll employment" figure rose by a much-less-than-expected 39,000, BLS added. At private employers, 50,000 jobs were added -- down from the 160,000-gain in October.

We'll have more from the report shortly, so hit your "refresh" button to see any udpates.

Update at 8:53 a.m. ET.Republican reaction:

The lame-duck Congress should "cut spending and stop all the looming tax hikes," House Speaker-designate John Boehner, R-OH, just said in a statement released by his office. He accused Democratic leaders of "wasting time with meaningless votes as they try to make it as difficult as possible to stop their job-killing tax hike." He's referring there to the end-of-year expiration of tax cuts passed during the last Bush administration.

Update at 8:50 a.m. ET. Some early analyses:

-- Bloomberg News says this vindicates "the Federal Reserve's decision to pump more money into the economy to spur growth."

-- The Wall Street Journal writes that the news underlines "the continued weakness in the labor market 17 months into the recovery."

Update at 8:42 a.m. ET: It's worth repeating that, as USA TODAY reported yesterday, the jobless rate has been above 9% for 19 consecutive months -- a post World War II record.

Update at 8:40 a.m. ET.More from the report:

-- "Temporary help services and health care continued to add jobs over the month, while employment fell in retail trade. Employment in most major industries changed little in November."

-- "The number of unemployed persons was 15.1 million in November."

-- "The number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs rose by 390,000 to 9.5 million in November."

-- "The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 6.3 million and accounted for 41.9 percent of the unemployed."

There's an Associated Press/NPR story here.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.