"The average duration of unemployment grew by about two weeks, to 28.5 weeks in November--the highest on record. Some 38% of the jobless were deemed long term unemployed, meaning they had been without work for about 6 months or more. The ranks of discouraged workers--those who have left the labor force for lack of job prospects--swelled by nearly 60,000 to 357,000 last month"
separate WSJ article, same date:
"Adjusting for seasonal swings in hiring, the Labor Department said retailers shed 14,500 workers last month."