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The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the economy added 146,000 jobs in November, with the official unemployment rate falling to 7.7 percent, the lowest since 2008. However, the 350,000 people who dropped out of the labor force are a key reason the unemployment rate fell. Previously reported jobs numbers for October and September were revised downward, with October revised to 138,000 from 171,000 and September revised to 132,000 from 148,000. (Jack Welch is, presumably, outraged.)
Huccording to the BLS, "Our analysis suggests that Hurricane Sandy did not substantively impact the national employment and unemployment estimates for November."
According to the BLS, 12 million people were officially unemployed. The labor force participation rate, which grew by 0.2 percent in October, shrank back by 0.2 percent in November to 63.6 percent, while the employment-population ratio edged down from 58.8 percent to 57.7 percent.
A broader measure of unemployment, called the U6, which includes not just technically unemployed people but those who are underemployed and those who say they want a job but aren't counted in the workforce, fell from 14.6 percent to 14.4 percent.