November jobs report (post Hurricane Sandy) better than expected

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

There were warnings earlier in the week that the November jobs report would be dismal because Hurricane Sandy disrupted the BLS job survey. The jobs report Friday is going to be a giant mess.

Hmmm, maybe not.

Steve Benen writes Job numbers far exceed expectations, unemployment drops:

Just last night, Ezra Klein explained
on the show that the new monthly job figures would be released this
morning, and a lot of folks would be shocked by how bad the numbers
would be. Why? Because of Hurricane Sandy. Most expected to see only
80,000 jobs created.

This morning, everyone's shocked for a very different reason. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports
that the U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November, nearly double the
projections. What's more, the overall unemployment rate dropped to
7.7%
, its lowest point in four years.

On a more discouraging note, job totals from September and October were revised down a bit.

[Last month’s jobs report suggested that the economy had added 148,000
jobs in September and 171,000 jobs in October. That’s been revised down
to 132,000 and 138,000, respectively.]

To be sure, 146,000 jobs isn't evidence of a robust economic recovery, but given Sandy-generated expectations, the figures come as a pleasant surprise.

November jobs

Here's another chart, this one showing monthly job losses/gains in just the private sector since the start of the Great Recession.

November private

Benen continues: And while the monthly totals are arguably the most important jobs
metric, I also wanted to note the steady drop in the overall
unemployment rate. Jobless rate reaches four-year low:

The new jobless rate of 7.7% is the lowest in four years, and clearly
the lowest since President Obama took office. It's also dropped a full
point in just the last year, going from 8.7% in November 2011 to 7.7% in
November 2012.

Jobs trend

All of this progress can end quickly, and will almost certainly reverse
course if congressional Republicans force austerity measures through the
fiscal negotiations. For that matter, another debt-ceiling crisis
forced by GOP lawmakers would take a severe toll on job creation, just
as it did in the summer of 2011.

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