NEW YORK The U.S. job market declined again in November and is likely to continue shedding jobs at a fast pace in 2009, a research group said on Monday.
The Conference Board, a private research group, said its Employment Trends Index fell to 102.9 in November from a revised 104.5 in October that first reported as 105.3.
The release by the Conference Board, a private research group, follows news on Friday that U.S. employers axed 533,000 jobs from payrolls in November, the most in 34 years, as the year-old recession hammered the economy.
It was the 11th consecutive month of job losses, which together has put nearly 2 million people out of work.
"Thus far, the U.S. economy has lost 1.9 million jobs and the declines in the ETI suggest job losses could very well surpass 3 million by mid-2009," Gad Levanon, senior economist at the Conference Board, was quoted as saying in the report.
"The continued deterioration in the labor market will exert significant downward pressure on wages."
The Employment Trends Index aggregates eight labor-market indicators into a composite index.
Financial markets paid little attention to the release, since it broadly reflected the weakness in Friday's jobs report.
Stocks rose as investors focused on President-elect Barack Obama's plan for major infrastructure investment, hoping it would pull the economy out of its current downturn, which is already likely to be one of the worst since the Great Depression.
Government bonds, which generally benefit from weak economic news, were mixed.
(Reporting by Burton Frierson; Editing by Tom Hals)