November's Jobless Rate Likely To Be 5.6%, Merrill Lynch Says

By John S. McClenahen When the U.S. Department of Labor reports November unemployment data on Dec. 7, the U.S. jobless rate is likely to rise to 5.6%, says Gerald D. Cohen, a senior economist at Merrill Lynch & Co., New York. In October the overall unemployment rate in the U.S. was 5.4%. Merrill Lynch is projecting an average 5.7% jobless rate for the current calendar quarter -- implying a sharp increase in unemployment in December. For the full year 2002, Merrill Lynch foresees unemployment running 6.3%, beginning with a 6.5% average for January through March. "We believe that companies still have major restructuring, including job cuts, to go through before profitability can be restored," says Cohen.

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