Unemployment Rate Continues To Drop As It Hits 9-Year Low

The U.S. economy added 178,000 non-farm jobs in November, which is about what economists expected.
Posted at 6:52 PM, Dec 02, 2016

President Obama is handing off a relatively healthy U.S. economy to his successor.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports unemployment has dropped to 4.6 percent of the labor force. Unemployment hasn't been this low since August of 2007. 

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Average hourly earnings dipped by three cents from last month to $25.89, but they're up by 2.5 percent overall over the past year.

The economy also added 178,000 new non-farm jobs in November, in line with expectations. Job growth this year has averaged 180,000 jobs per month, down from 229,000 jobs per month in 2015.

But those new jobs aren't evenly spread out across the economy. Many of the new jobs came from the professional and business service sectors: things like accounting, management and computer systems.

Manufacturing jobs, a particular focus of President-elect Donald Trump's campaign, stayed mostly stagnant in November and are still well short of pre-recession levels.

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Still, the overall economic picture could inspire the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates during its December meeting.