City Jobless Rate Rises, Exceeding the Nation’s

New York City’s unemployment rate edged up to 8.9 percent in November despite a surge in preholiday hiring at stores, hotels and restaurants, the State Labor Department reported late on Thursday afternoon.

Private-sector employers in the city added almost 29,000 jobs last month, about one-third more than has been typical for November, said James P. Brown, principal economist for the department. But an increase in the number of people looking for work more than offset that rise, pushing the unemployment rate up from 8.8 percent in October, according to the state’s figures.

The city’s unemployment rate is now higher than the nation’s for the first time since March 2010, Mr. Brown said. The national rate dropped to 8.6 percent last month, from 9 percent in October.

Mr. Brown warned that the financial-services sector “is once again retrenching,” a trend that does not bode well for the city. On Thursday, Morgan Stanley joined the ranks of big banks planning layoffs when it said it would eliminate 1,600 jobs early next year.

Statewide, the situation was similar last month. The number of people who started looking for work counteracted an increase of 34,400 private-sector jobs, nudging the state’s unemployment rate to 8 percent, from 7.9 percent in October.

About 760,000 New York state residents were officially unemployed — which means they had tried but failed to find jobs — but about 425,000 collected unemployment benefits last month, the labor department said. Some of the rest had already exhausted all of the available benefits, which have been stretched to a maximum of 99 weeks, while others failed to qualify.

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