Unemployment Rate Drops To Lowest In Four Years - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Unemployment Rate Drops To Lowest In Four Years

NBCNEWS.COM - The U.S. economy generated a stronger-than-expected 146,000 jobs in November, helping to trim the jobless rate to 7.7 percent, a four year low, the government reported Friday.

The dark cloud in the Labor Department's report, however, was a drop in the size of the work force, which signaled that some people may have given up looking for work. 

Still, despite a late October wallop from Superstorm Sandy and Washington's ongoing pummeling of business and consumer confidence, the U.S. economy isn't down for the count.

The fiscal cliff, though, could still deliver a knockout punch.

 "It looks like the job market is holding firm," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics. "That's encouraging in light of all the fiscal uncertainties."

Economists had expected non-farm payrolls to rise about 93,000 and the jobless rate to hold steady at 7.9 percent. Friday's report included revisions to both the September and October data showing that 49,000 fewer jobs were created than first reported.

President Barack Obama's chief economist gave an upbeat assessment of the report, but warned that more needs to be done, as he has done for several months.

"While more work remains to be done, today's employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression," said Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. 

The government said Superstorm Sandy which slammed the densely populated East Coast in late October did not have a substantive effect on employment last month.

 

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