Jobless Rate Falls to 7 Percent

By Toni Vranjes

December 6, 2013

The nation’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.3 percent to 7 percent in November, as workers who had been furloughed during the government shutdown returned to their jobs.

In addition, employers created 203,000 new jobs in a wide range of sectors, the Labor Department reported today. Economists had predicted job growth of 181,000 for the month, according to IHS Global Insight.

down_arrow_7_pt_0The areas of especially strong growth include professional and business services, with 35,000 new jobs; and transportation and warehousing, which is up by 31,000. Also, health care rose by 28,000, and manufacturing employment increased by 27,000. Meanwhile, employment also rose in retail trade, leisure and hospitality, and construction.

The new jobs report shows that the labor force expanded by 455,000, but the gains need to be placed in context. As noted in an analysis by IHS economist Doug Handler, the labor force is smaller than it was a year ago.

For September and October, revised payrolls show 8,000 more jobs than earlier reported for those two months combined, according to the Labor Department.

In the big picture, the new employment report “is consistent with an economy that is poised to see better economic growth in 2014,” Handler wrote.

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