Nearly 90,000 Print Jobs Have Been Lost in the Last YearS

The good news: Unemployment dropped slightly last month, to 10%. The bad news: 4,200 print publishing workers were laid off just in November and 86,800 have lost their jobs in the past 12 months.

The figures come from the industry breakdown of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' new employment numbers [pdf]. Jobs in the print publishing category—that includes newspapers, magazines, and books as well as direct-mail shops and the like—have declined from 863,600 last November to 776,800 last month—a 10% drop (those are seasonably adjusted figures). Last month alone saw a 4.2% decline in print jobs, helped by massive bloodletting at the Associated Press, Business Week, Time Inc., and elsewhere.

Nearly 90,000 Print Jobs Have Been Lost in the Last YearS

And those numbers explicitly exclude internet-based jobs, which don't appear to be tracked separately. So the total number of media workers laid off in the last year is almost certainly substantially higher.

Overall, the new job figures are being described as a small improvement, given the downtick in the unemployment rate. But the largest single employment sector to add jobs in the last month was temporary services, with an increase of 52,000. And the largest drop in unemployment was among teenagers. These are not quality jobs.

And this paragraph from the BLS's release should provide some sobering context:

About 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in November, an increase of 376,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

But there's good news: Employment in commercial banking increased by 1,000 jobs, or about 1%. They always win, don't they?