Unemployment dropped to 7.7%, a four year low, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in Friday’s jobs report. The economy added 146,000 jobs in November.
This is a “better than expected” November job report according to CNBC’s Brian Sullivan. The numbers far surpassed estimates that the country would only create 85,000 jobs in November.
“Average hourly earnings and weekly earnings ticked up a bit,” Sullivan said on Morning Joe, “as employees have a bit more bargaining power as the jobs market turns around.”
Economists expected Hurricane Sandy to hurt job creation after the storm devastated the East coast in late October, but the BLS said that “Hurricane Sandy did not substantively impact the national employment and unemployment estimates.”
Long term unemployed stayed roughly the same, but four-year college graduates over the age of 25 saw an unemployment rate of 4%, which is effectively full employment, according to economists.
“Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by worst downturn since the Great Depressions,” said Alan B. Krueger, economic adviser to the White House, in a statement Friday that pushed for extending the middle class tax cuts that would expire at the end of the year. “It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) used Friday’s jobs numbers to hammer away at the president’s role in the fiscal cliff negotiations.
“The Democrats’ plan to slow-walk our economy to the edge of the fiscal cliff instead of engaging in serious talks is a threat to our economy,” Boehner said in a statement. “Republicans have offered a balanced proposal to avert the cliff that includes spending cuts and tax reforms the president once supported; the White House has only offered a joke that couldn’t pass the House or the Senate.