The U.S. says its labor market advanced sharply last month and its
jobless rate fell to 7.7 percent, the lowest level in nearly four years.
The government said Friday that late October's devastating superstorm
Sandy had little effect on hiring, as employers unexpectedly added
146,000 new jobs in November. That was substantially more than
economists had predicted.
The jobless rate improved from October's 7.9 percent level to reach its
lowest point since December 2008. But the government said employers
added 49,000 fewer jobs in October and September than initially
The government report says the biggest factor in the jobless rate
decline was the fact that more Americans stopped looking for work. When
people without jobs give up looking for work, they are no longer counted
The U.S. economy, the world's largest, is advancing steadily, but
slowly, with many employers wary about hiring more workers. The
government said 12 million workers remain unemployed.
House economic adviser Alan Krueger said the latest jobs report is
"further evidence" that the American economy is improving from the
depths of the recession. That downturn in 2008 and 2009 was the worst
period for the nation's economy since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
But Kruger said that "more work remains to be done" to spur growth.
Key corporate leaders say their investment plans are uncertain as U.S.
President Barack Obama and congressional leaders wrangle over
end-of-year tax and spending issues that remain unresolved. The country
is trying to avert what Washington is calling a "fiscal cliff" - $600
billion in mandated spending cuts and tax increases that would affect
almost all American workers.