Unemployment Rate Falls To Lowest Level Since 2008

Source: Annalyn Kurtz / CNN Money

Modest hiring continued in November and the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in nearly four years, according to a report released Friday.

The U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7% from 7.9% in October, the Labor Department said. While that’s the lowest unemployment rate since December 2008, it fell due mainly to workers dropping out of the labor force.

Economists surveyed by CNNMoney had predicted that only 77,000 jobs were added in November and that the unemployment rate had risen to 8%, factoring in distortions from Superstorm Sandy. But the Labor Department said it was still able to collect a normal level of responses to its survey, even in areas affected by the storm.

“Our analysis suggests that Hurricane Sandy did not substantively impact the national employment and unemployment estimates for November,” the Labor Department said in a press release.

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