Jobs Report is Optimistic

4 Dec

In the strongest employment report since the recession began nearly two years ago, the government said Friday that the nation’s employers had all but stopped shedding jobs in November, taking some of the pressure off of President Obama to come up with a jobs creation program.

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Michael Reynolds/European Pressphoto Agency

Demonstrators outside the White House on Thursday as President Obama met with business leaders and economists to seek ideas for creating jobs.

The Labor Department reported that the United States economy lost 11,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate fell to 10 percent, down from 10.2 percent in October.

The government also significantly revised its September and October job loss estimates. September’s data was adjusted to show a loss of 139,000 jobs instead of 219,000, and in October 111,000 jobs were lost, instead of 190,000. Even allowing for the November loss, the revisions added 148,000 people to the list of those employed in the United States in November.

Though the pace of job loss has been declining since a peak in January, the November number was surprising. Economists had been expecting a turning point to come in the late spring or summer, with employers finally adding workers as a recovery takes hold. The last time the number was so bright was in December 2007, when the economy added 120,000 jobs.

“It is clearly a much better picture, and appears to be mostly genuine,” said Nigel Gault, chief domestic economist at IHS Global Insight, who said he was encouraged by gains in the average workweek and the number of temporary workers hired. “It shows employers have come back so much and are starting to rehire.”

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