Analysts say the data shows the US's economic slowdown has had a heavy impact on employment in the US.

US stocks rose slightly on Wednesday following news of the figures, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 42.77, or 0.49 per cent, to 8,711.16, in early morning trading.

In November, about 533,000 jobs were lost, sending the unemployment rate to a 15-year high of 6.7 per cent and some expect the figures to rise further. ]

Confidence slump

The news comes a day after a private research company said that US consumer confidence had slumped to an all time low, as the current economic turmoil continues.

The Conference Board, a private business research company, said on Tuesday its Consumer Confidence Index had fallen to 38 points in December, from 44.7 points in November.

US consumers also rated their present situation as being the worst in 16 years, down to 29.4 points - its lowest since April 1992 - from November's 42.3 points.

The main concern amongst voters has been spiralling job losses, with US employers cutting 533,000 jobs from payrolls in November alone, the highest such number in 34 years.

Last month a private research firm said the US economy had been in recession since December 2007 after a series of financial crises sparked by the subprime mortgage crisis, tight credit conditions and global economic turmoil.