Friday, December 02, 2011

U.S. unemployment hits lowest point in 2½ years

[VIDEO] Here's an AP report on the unemployment rate, the video above is from Crain's looking at the local implications of this news:
The U.S. unemployment rate fell last month to its lowest level in more than 2½ years. More of the unemployed either found jobs or gave up looking and were no longer counted as unemployed.

The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate dropped sharply to 8.6 percent, down from 9 percent in October. The rate hasn't been that low since March 2009, during the depths of the recession.

About 13.3 million Americans remain unemployed.
Private employers added a net gain of 140,000 jobs in November. But governments shed 20,000 jobs, mostly at the local and state level. Governments at all levels have shed nearly a half-million jobs in the past year.

More than half the jobs added last month were by retailers, restaurants and bars, a sign that holiday hiring has kicked in. Retailers added 50,000, the sector's biggest gain since April. Restaurants and bars hired 33,000 workers. The health care industry added 17,000.

Even with the recent gains, the economy isn't anywhere close to replacing the jobs lost in the recession. Employers began shedding workers in February 2008 and cut nearly 8.7 million jobs for the next 25 months. Since then, the economy has regained nearly 2.5 million of those jobs.

The presidential election is less than a year away, which means President Barack Obama will almost certainly face voters with the highest unemployment rate of any president since World War II. Still, if the rate continues to decline, Obama stands to benefit.
In talking about the unemployment rate they noted people who have left the work force. Wouldn't they be counted as unemployed unless they retired and have no plans to go back to work?

There are implications to Obama's re-election effort. What will these numbers look like near Election Day 2012?

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