Unemployment in the U.S. unexpectedly dropped in November to a two-year low, while employers added fewer workers than projected and earnings eased, indicating the labor market is making limited progress.
The jobless rate declined to 8.6 percent, the lowest since March 2009, from 9 percent, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Payrolls climbed 120,000, with more than half the hiring coming from retailers and temporary help agencies, after a revised 100,000 rise in October that was more than initially estimated. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey called for a gain of 125,000.
Companies like DirectTV have said they will keep a tight rein on spending and employment in 2012, reflecting concern over the outlook for demand, Europe’s debt crisis and the U.S. deficit. The scant number of jobs is limiting wage gains and restraining consumers’ ability to boost spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.
“The labor market is showing very gradual progress, but it is progress,Stephen Stanley chief economist for Pierpont Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut said before the report. “Things are getting a little bit better on the economy. Firms are hiring but staying trim.”
U.S. Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Declines to 8.6% - Bloomberg
Good news for everybody except Gingrich/Romney. These economists are becoming laughable with their predictions as it seems almost every job report misses expectations and is later revised by 2 standard deviations. This one they were "right on" as payrolls came in as expected at 120k but the unemployment rate unexpectedly decline. Some pessimists are attributing this to a decline in the labor force. Either way, unemployment rate is now below 9%, the lowest it's been since it peaked at 10.1% back in March 2009.