November Job Gains Easily Beat Expectations

December 7, 2012 8:54 AM EST
The U.S. added much more jobs in November than anyone expected and Hurricane Sandy proved a non-issue.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 146,000 in November and the unemployment fell to 7.7% from 7.9%. Economists, on average, were only expecting 85,000 job additions during the month.

October's jobs report was revised down from 171,000 to 138,000.

On Hurricane Sandy, the survey found limited impact. "Our analysis suggests that Hurricane Sandy did not substantively impact the national employment and unemployment estimates for November," the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

The number of long-term unemployed (27 weeks or more) was little changed at 4.8 million in November.

One weak data point from the release was the fact that less and less people are participating in the labor force. The civilian labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 63.6 percent in November, offsetting an increase of the same amount in October.

Involuntary part-time workers was at 8.2 million in November, little changed over the prior month. In November, 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. Among the marginally attached, there were 979,000 discouraged workers in November, little changed from a year earlier.

Stocks are initial stronger on the news Friday morning.

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