Let's face it, if the Republicans are (with some justification) about to pound President Obama for not doing enough to spur job growth, then any news that suggests otherwise is going to be a feather in the president's cap.
There are a few new feathers this morning. The New York Times examines why.
The Labor Department said Friday that the nation’s employers added 120,000 jobs last month, after adding 100,000 jobs in October.
The unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent, after having been stuck around 9 percent for most of 2011. .
“The unemployment rate has been stuck in the mud all year,” said Andrew Tilton, a senior economist at Goldman Sachs.
November’s jobless rate was the lowest recorded since March 2009. The rate fell partly because more workers got jobs, but also because about 315,000 workers dropped out of the labor force, and the jobless rate counts only people who are actively looking for work.
November’s jobs report reinforced how much President Obama needs additional stimulus, a tidy and fast resolution to the European debt crisis or some other economic miracle to reinvigorate the economy before the 2012 presidential election.As the Associated Press reports, the latest numbers are in line with expectations.
Still, 13.3 million Americans remain unemployed. And a key reason the unemployment rate fell so much was that roughly 315,000 people had given up looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed.
Employers added 120,000 jobs last month. And the previous two months were revised up to show that 72,000 more jobs were added -- the fourth straight month the government revised prior months higher.
Private employers added a net gain of 140,000 jobs last month. Governments, meanwhile, shed another 20,000 jobs, mostly at the local and state level. Governments at all levels have shed almost a half-million jobs in the past year.
More than half the jobs added were by retailers, restaurants and bars, a sign that holiday hiring has kicked in. Retailers added 50,000 jobs, the sector's biggest gain since April. Restaurants and bars hired 33,000 new workers. The health care industry added 17,000.