U.S. employers hired more workers than expected in November, cutting the unemployment rate to a five-year low of 7 percent – down from 7.3 percent in October – the Labor Department said on Friday.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report for November says employers added 203,000 jobs, surpassing October’s revised gain of 200,000. The U.S. economy has now added jobs for 45 straight months now.
“The U.S. labor market is still far from healed, but it certainly is moving in the right direction,” Eric Stein, co-director of the Global Income Group at Eaton Vance Investment Managers in Boston, told Reuters.
The economy has now generated an average of 204,000 jobs each month from August through November, despite a 15-day government shutdown in October that furloughed 800,000 federal employees. That monthly average is up from the 159,000 added per month from April through July.
“Today’s report was yet another reminder of the resilience of America’s private sector following the disruptive government shutdown and debt limit brinkmanship in the first half of October,” said Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, in a statement. But, he added that the 7 percent unemployment rate – 11 million people – is “stilll unacceptably high.”0