December 7th, 2012
08:41 AM ET

U.S. unemployment rate drops to lowest level since 2008

U.S. jobs growth for November was better than what economists predicted it would be.

The U.S. economy added 146,000 in November, according to the Labor Department, nearly twice as many as the 77,000 jobs that economists surveyed by CNNMoney had predicted in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

And the U.S. unemployment has dropped to 7.7%, the lowest since December 2008, according to the Labor Department. That's down from 7.9% in October.

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Filed under: Economy • Jobs
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. chrissy

    These numbers are ALWAYS wrong. They are only based on people presently drawing unemployment, they dont consider the numbers whose benefits expired, or those that werent eligible, nor those that expired long ago and were not able to find work.

    December 7, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      @Chrissy ....You are so right.....And to the lucky ones who got Christmas related part time work....I'm sure those autos, big screen TVs and new houses will be in short supply with all that minimum wage money that these newly employed folks will spend!

      December 7, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael S.

      These are U3 numbers. Only U6 numbers come closer to the true rate. So it is usually necessary to double the "Official" rate to get close to the real number of unemployed. Still, a trend down shows up in either case, it is just smaller than they make it seem.

      December 14, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • miguel

      "Too much tax income is lost by:

      1. Illegal immigrants being tolerated and therefore flooding
      the labor pool and driving wages down.
      2. Jobs being exported with no tariff or trade barrier, often in
      operations that operate at a LOSS but then demand tax dollars to fill the gap
      3. Monopoly/anti trust laws not being enforced so when businesses
      don't dominate they co-operate, creating closed markets, fewer choices and artificially higher prices.

      Real simple to fix. Start with #1... No more illegals. Too bad Romney says what works
      at the time but means nothing, he had it right, check all employers and fully fine/prosecute/close
      down any who hire illegals. We don't need no fence or profiling or original boys in the hood
      at the borders, just do that. That'd save as many jobs as the high end "Unemployed".
      Oh, you'd not do that kind of work, that's why you went to college?
      Well a lot of people used to do that work, and most made a decent living off
      of it, till the illegals flooded them out and they forced their kids into college
      and same parents went back themselves.

      After this the rich bleed like their wrist is cut. Then go for their throats, t
      he exporting of jobs. No way shape or form should it be OK to make things
      at a loss overseas then scream for "Tax breaks and subsidies" to make it up.

      Do these both they collapse, but if they lose everything and close, big deal,
      if they did something worthwhile someone will take their place – that's real capitalism.
      They have no "Right" to be mega-rich, esp. if they do it at our loss. "

      December 15, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Donna

      Some people think that to get these figures on unemployment, the Government uses the number of persons filing claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits under State or Federal Government programs. But some people are still jobless when their benefits run out, and many more are not eligible at all or delay or never apply for benefits. So, quite clearly, UI information cannot be used as a source for complete information on the number of unemployed.

      Other people think that the Government counts every unemployed person each month. To do this, every home in the country would have to be contacted—just as in the population census every 10 years. This procedure would cost way too much and take far too long. Besides, people would soon grow tired of having a census taker come to their homes every month, year after year, to ask about job-related activities.

      Because unemployment insurance records relate only to persons who have applied for such benefits, and since it is impractical to actually count every unemployed person each month, the Government conducts a monthly sample survey called the Current Population Survey (CPS) to measure the extent of unemployment in the country. The CPS has been conducted in the United States every month since 1940, when it began as a Work Projects Administration project. It has been expanded and modified several times since then. For instance, beginning in 1994, the CPS estimates reflect the results of a major redesign of the survey. (For more information on the CPS redesign, see Chapter 1, "Labor Force Data Derived from the Current Population Survey," in the BLS Handbook of Methods.)

      December 16, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    This is nothing more than advertising for a statistical blowout.

    December 7, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. Hide Behindp

    If the US$ has lost 18 -20 % of its value (and it has) and purchasing power since 2008. How many years will it take for a newly employed to catch up to 2008?
    How many work hours does it take before you are fully employed?
    Why is it that today some several thousand are drawing full unemployment plus assistance and being retrained by industry, mainly as hi tech equipment repair and installation./construction in defence industry paid for by taxpayers are still listed as unemployed.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • JOSE--USMC-0311


      December 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mgwillis1974

    Above and beyond the manipulation of statistical data to serve ones point of view, if you have a company cut a full time 30 to 60k/yr job and then a fast food restaurant adds 2 part time jobs at minimum wage, you would according to the government have an added job to the economic outlook.

    Out here in the real world those of us being hit by this recession all know that even if we can manage to even get a 2nd part time job and spend no time with our family, that we still don't come close to being able to support our families in any way that can get us out of poverty.

    A helpful statistic would be to know how much was paid out in wages in the whole country back in 2008 versus how much is being paid out total today, then average it out to find out if that the average income per job has improved.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. Hide Behindp

    What nation does american investment total out to more than that of their investments in India, China, Brazil and Mexico combined.
    Now what nation is bankrupt and has a yearly expenditure of over 100% of its gdp and jas a 40% unemployment rate.
    20 us corporates employ 100,000 at a high wage with returns from euro markets of over 20% profits and it is almost all US tax free but pay irelands 28%.

    December 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Hide Behindp

    What two nations are the heaviest investors in the US and together has a higher trade unbalance ratio of China to US along with owed debt to both sovereign and private financial institutions.
    Great Britain and Canada.

    December 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Hamsta

    What they are not telling you is that the number will go right back up again after New Years because drunk Uncle Joe is doing his yearly gig as a mall Santa.

    December 7, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Portland tony

    The so-called employment problem here in the US will slowly go least statically in the next several years...( it will of course depend upon what Congress does about the fiscal cliff)....But the purchasing power of the average worker will never reach pre-recession highs. So there will never be demands for new homes, autos,or big ticket items as there were in years past. Oh, there will be good paying jobs for some who have skills that are in demand...but just fewer of them. An example would be an auto assembly plant where say 100 folks would work a line...Now there are perhaps 10, just monitoring the robots who do the actual assembly. The same goes for just about any formally labor intensive effort. Skilled workers who make ones and twos of computer programs or complicated mechanical equipment will still be in demand ie..Rocket assemblers etc...But the majority of American workers will be stuck behind counters selling burgers or cell phones.Only the folks who are highly trained professionals will able to maintain the American dream. The rest will have to do it vicariously or win a lottery jackpot!

    December 8, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. Hide Behindp

    What is the American dream?
    Who is dreaming and what are they dreaming of?
    Will everyone ever be employed and have all their american dreams fullfilled?
    OF all the Dreamers, those man or woman of high esteem, ever found any thing other than a dream?

    December 8, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Historically ....a new house in burbs, 2 cars in the garage, a couple of nice college bound kids in a good neighborhood school, no crime and a decent job to pay for it all. 🙂

      December 8, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • s kel

      keep the burbs. In city (not the suburban sprawl cities of the west ,south, some midwest cities) living in a older cool inner city neighborhood (not the high crime rundown sections) where you can walk to places, take rapid urban transpotation, with stores nearby ,unique brownstones, ...beautiful . Thats what I like lol.

      December 8, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE--USMC-0311

      The American dream is gone for the lower 50 % of Americans... the dreams of a good job-owning a home-is gone. There jobs got outsource to china and other countries......Even kids with a college education can't get jobs, why ?? H-1 visa workers from India come to take the high tech labor and greed is destroying our country.. The reason so many are on welfare, no jobs.

      December 12, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janet

      S Kel - I'm glad you enjoy the city, but not everyone does. Nirvana to one person is another's nightmare.

      December 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. chrissy

    lol s kel, not me ive had enough of city life! Im ready to go back home and get back to mother nature! 10 years in the city is at least 9 l/2 too many.

    December 9, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. chrissy

    @ s kel, you can have the city life! 10 years of city life is about 9 l/2 too many for me, im ready to go back home and enjoy nature again. When the only time you hear guns is during hunting season! And the tranquility of the lake at sunrise. Thats heaven

    December 9, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. krehator

    This must be some kind of conspiracy... Gotta be. Let's check with Fox News..... Yep it is a conspiracy.

    December 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Please explain.

    I don't understand something and perhaps other readers can explain it to me. If 10,000 people are retiring EVERY DAY, as the AARP ad claims, then why does unemployment remain so high? I mean, even if we need to fill half those jobs, that would be 35,000 openings per week, or more than 1.8 million jobs per year. If those jobs get filled by people getting promoted from within, up the chain, then presumably the lower, entry-level positions would need filling. So, what gives?

    December 11, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE--USMC-0311

      Millions of immigrants–Illegals are coming to the u.s. every year/.

      December 12, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JOSE--USMC-0311

    Holiday part-time hiring across the country..duh...Don't you people know that ??? the real unemployment if you count all the people working part-time because is all they can get is --around 17 %..

    December 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Colin

    Wow. Four years of Obama-nomics and we're ALMOST back to where we started. Think the next four years will be Bush's fault too?

    December 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
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