December 3, 2011- Figures released on Friday showed the unemployment rate in the U.S. took an unexpected drop in November. The current rate of 8.6% is the lowest the country has seen in more than 2 ½ years. Economists announced they were optimistic but said there was a long road ahead.
Over 140,000 new jobs were added by the private sector in November. Nevertheless, that figure was lowered to a net of 120,000 because 20,000 jobs were lost in the public sector at the local, state and federal level.
September’s new job rate was also adjusted up to 210,000 from the original 158,000 figure. The 80,000 increase in new jobs for October was also adjusted up by an additional 20,000 to 100,000.
One of Moody’s chief economists, Mark Zandi said, “The job market is beginning to firm up at the end of this year. Job growth, particularly with small businesses, has increased in the last few months.”
He added, “The improvement in new jobs is encouraging but the job market continues to struggle. However, it has begun to see some momentum heading into the New Year.”
The market responded positively to the announcement early Friday, but ended the day flat. Nevertheless, the market ended the week 787 points higher. Making it the highest gain for a week since October 2008, when the country was mired in the financial crisis.