US adds 120,000 jobs in Nov, unemployment rate drops to 8.6%

02 December 2011 15:05  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--The US added 120,000 net new jobs in November, the Department of Labor (DOL) said on Friday, and the nation’s unemployment rate fell to 8.6% from October’s 9% jobless measure.

In its monthly report, the department said that private sector employers added some 140,000 workers last month, but this was partly offset by 20,000 job losses at state and local governments.

The drop in the unemployment rate marks the lowest level since March 2009 when the US was nearing the end of the 2007-2009 recession. The recession officially ended in June 2009.

The 120,000 net advance in jobs growth in November also represents an improvement from the 100,000 overall new hires reported for October, revised upward from the initial October jobs report of 80,000 new hires.

However, that pace of employment expansion is still below the 150,000 net new jobs the US should be generating each month just to accommodate new workers entering the employment market.

And if there is to be any significant progress in generating enough jobs for the nearly 14m unemployed Americans, net monthly job growth should be running at 300,000 or better. 

In normal economic times, the US economy would be expected to generate about 250,000 new jobs monthly.

Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Joe Kamalick
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