Unemployment Rate Drops To 7.7%
The economic light of hope shines on the horizon as unemployment fell to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008.
In November, 146,000 new jobs were added to the economy bringing the unemployment rate down two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous 7.9%. The retail sector experienced the highest job growth with 53,000 new jobs followed by professional and businesses services of 43,000 and the health care sector with 20,000 new jobs.
Although 10,000 new jobs were added to the auto industry, the manufacturing sector in total shed 7,000 jobs. Similarly, 20,000 construction jobs were lost.
Economists, taking into consideration the impact of tax hikes and Hurricane Sandy, predicted a meager 80,000 new jobs to pour into the labor market. However, the Labor Department, in its press release, announced that Hurricane Sandy did not have a substantive impact on the unemployment numbers.
With 12 million Americans in the labor force unemployed, economists remain gloomy, stating that the current job numbers are only keeping pace with the population growth, and the economy must average 200,000-250,000 new jobs per month to sustain real economic growth. Job gains for this year have averaged 151,000 per month.
Many accredit this dip in unemployment to the shrinking labor force as a large number of workers become discouraged or pull out of the job market. The labor force participation rate skimmed to its 30-year low of 63.6%.
The Labor Department reported 171,000 jobs to be created in October, but later revised that number to 138,000. Likewise, 148,000 jobs were said to be generated in September, but the Labor Department later cut the number to 132,000.
Last month also invited a $0.04 increase on average hourly wages, which now stands at $23.63
The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.