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Job growth picks up steam, unemployment drops

All told, this year is on track to the best for jobs since 2005, and the second best since 1999.
Expectations going into this morning's new monthly jobs report were fairly strong, and as it turns out, the totals from the Bureau of Labor Statistics were even better than expected.
According to the new BLS report, the U.S. economy added 203,000 jobs in November, ahead of economists' predictions. In a pleasant change of pace, the public sector did not drag down the overall figures -- the private sector added 196,000 jobs, while the public sector, which has hemorrhaged jobs in recent years, added 7,000.
The overall unemployment rate dropped to 7%. That's a five-year low, though it's a little misleading -- it reflects furloughed federal workers who returned to their jobs after the government shutdown ended.
In terms of the revisions, September's job totals were revised up from 163,000
to 175,000, while October's figures were revised down slightly, from 204,000 to 200,000. With
these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 8,000 higher
than previously reported.
All told, so far in calendar year 2013, the economy has added 2.07 million jobs, which puts the U.S. on pace for the best year for job creation since before the 2008 crash. Indeed, this year is on track to the best for jobs since 2005, and the second best since 1999.
Above you'll find the chart I run every month, showing monthly job losses since the start of the Great Recession. The image makes a distinction – red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration.
Update: Here’s another chart, this one showing monthly job losses/gains in just the private sector since the start of the Great Recession.