Unemployment at 4-Year Low

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The unemployment rate is 7.7 percent, although it excludes people who gave up looking for work.

That’s the word from today’s jobs report, according to The New York Times. There were also 146,000 new jobs, many for the holidays…

Among specific industries, the retail sector was especially healthy, adding 53,000 jobs as the holiday shopping season approached. In the last three months, retail employment has increased by 140,000.

One notable point of weakness was the manufacturing sector, which lost 7,000 jobs in the month. Demand from Europe and other overseas markets has weakened recently, while some manufacturing companies have held off on spending as political leaders square off in Washington over how to cut the deficit.

Estimates for growth from the past two months were revised downward, though – the economy gained fewer jobs than thought in September and October.

Stacy Johnson

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