Small businesses that were skittish about the economy this summer started hiring in bigger numbers this fall, helping drive the unemployment rate down to 8.6 percent in November, the lowest in two and a half years.
The country added 120,000 jobs in November, the Labor Department said Friday. The economy has generated 100,000 or more jobs five months in a row — the first time that has happened since April 2006, well before the Great Recession.
"Something good is stirring in the U.S. economy," Ian Shepherdson, an economist at High Frequency Economics, said in a note to clients.
The stock market opened higher after the unemployment report came out. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 48 points, good for a weekly gain of 836 points. The only bigger point gain in one week was in October 2008.
The report, one of the most closely watched economic indicators, showed that September and October were stronger months than first estimated. For four months in a row, the government has revised job growth figures higher for previous months.
Unemployment was 9 percent in October and has been stuck near or above that level for two and a half years. The last time unemployment was this low was March 2009, two months after President Barack Obama took office.
"Now is not the time to slam the brakes on the recovery, right now it's time to step on the gas," Obama said. He encouraged Congress to extend a tax cut that applies to 160 million Americans but is set to expire at year's end.
There's a lot more to these numbers that the lapdogs aren't telling you. Rush Limbaugh was just mentioning it and the stats are here at Bullfax.com.
Quick notes about the "falling" unemployment rate:
•In the last year, the civilian population rose by 1,726,000. Yet the labor force fell by 67,000. Those not in the labor force rose by 1,793,000.
•In November, those "Not in Labor Force" rose by a whopping 487,000. If you are not in the labor force, you are not counted as unemployed.
•Were it not for people dropping out of the labor force, the unemployment rate would be well over 11%.
Jobs Report at a Glance
Here is an overview of November Jobs Report, today's release.
•US Payrolls +120,000
•US Unemployment Rate Declined .4 to 8.6%
•Civilian labor force fell by 315,000
•Those Not in Labor Force rose by 487,000
•Participation Rate fell .2 percentage points to 64.0%, nearly matching a low last seen in 1984
•Actual number of Employed (by Household Survey) rose by 278,000
•Unemployment fell by 594,000
•Civilian population rose by 172,000
•Average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.3 hours for the second consecutive month.
•The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours in November.
•Average hourly earnings for all employees in the private sector fell by 2 cents to $23.18
•Government employment decreased by 20,000
•The private sector has only recovered 33 percent of jobs lost in the peak-to-trough period of January 2008 to February 2010.
Recall that the unemployment rate varies in accordance with the Household Survey not the reported headline jobs number, and not in accordance with the weekly claims data.
For the second month the labor force rose. This is a welcome sign. However, were it not for people dropping out of the labor force for the past two years, the unemployment rate would be well over 11%.
So, in other words, the unemployment rate dropped while more people left the labor force. Kinda like 2+2=50.
There's going to be a lot more fuzzy math in the run up to next year's eleciton, because the media's job is to get their false-Messiah Obama re-elected.