The long-term outlook for employment remains bleak, with more job cuts looming, the Conference Board reported Monday.

The New York-based research group's monthly employment index continued to decline in November, falling 13 percent from the same period last year. Over that time, U.S. employers shed 1.9 million jobs, the report said. The index is based on eight separate labor-market indicators.

According to Gad Levanon, the group's senior economist, job losses are now on pace to reach three million by mid 2009.

A recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, a Washington-based small business lobby group, found that only four percent of small-business owners plan to add staff over the next three months.

According to the Labor Department, nonfarm payrolls fell by 533,000 jobs in November, the biggest single-month drop in 34 years.