Solid U.S. job growth cuts unemployment to 7 percent

Rate is at a five-year low
Associated Press
Dec 7, 2013


The U.S. job market is proving surprisingly resilient.

Solid job growth in November cut the U.S. unemployment rate to 7 percent, a five-year low. The robust gain suggested that the economy may have begun to accelerate. As more employers step up hiring, more people have money to spend to drive the economy.

Employers added 203,000 jobs last month after adding 200,000 in October, the Labor Department said Friday. November's job gain helped lower the unemployment rate from 7.3 percent in October. The economy has added a four-month average of 204,000 jobs from August through November, up sharply from 159,000 a month from April through July.

"It's hinting very, very strongly that the economy is starting to ramp up, that growth is getting better, that businesses are hiring," said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors.

The job growth has also fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve will scale back its economic stimulus when it meets later this month.

It "gives the Fed all the evidence it needs to begin tapering its asset purchases at the next ... meeting," said Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics.

Stock investors were heartened by the news. The Dow Jones industrial average surged nearly 178 points in early afternoon trading.

The unemployment rate has fallen nearly a full percentage point since the Fed began buying bonds in September 2012 and has reached 7 percent earlier than most analysts had expected.

In June, Chairman Ben Bernanke had suggested that the Fed would end its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases after the unemployment rate reached 7 percent. The Fed's bond purchases have been intended to keep borrowing rates low.

Bernanke later backed away from the 7 percent target. He cautioned that the Fed would weigh numerous economic factors in any decision it makes about its bond purchases. Many economists still think the Fed won't begin to cut back until January or later.

While the Fed weighs its options, U.S. employers may finally be gaining enough confidence in the economy, 4½ years after the recession officially ended, to ramp up hiring. In addition to the solid job gain and the drop in unemployment, Friday's report offered other encouraging signs:

— Higher-paying industries are adding more jobs. Manufacturers added 27,000 jobs, the most since March 2012. Construction companies added 17,000. The two industries have created a combined 113,000 jobs over the past four months.

— Hourly wages are up. The average rose 4 cents in November to $24.15. It's risen just 2 percent in the past year. But that's ahead of inflation: Consumer prices are up only 0.9 percent in that time.

— Employers are giving their workers more hours: The average work week rose to 34.5 hours from 34.4. A rule of thumb among economists is that a one-tenth hourly increase in the work week is equivalent to adding 300,000 jobs.

— Hiring was broad-based. In addition to higher-paying industries, retailers added 22,300 jobs, restaurants, bars and hotels 20,800. Education and health care added 40,000. And after years of cutbacks, state and local governments are hiring again. In November, governments at all levels combined added 7,000 jobs.

Still, the report contained some sour notes: Many Americans are still avoiding the job market, neither working nor looking for work. That's one reason the unemployment rate has fallen in recent months. The percentage of adults either working or searching for jobs remains near a 35-year low.

And America's long-term unemployed are still struggling. More than 4 million people have been out of work for six months or longer. That figure was essentially unchanged in November. By contrast, the number of people who have been unemployed for less than six months fell last month.

Among companies that are ramping up hiring is Eat24, which handles online restaurant deliveries. Eat24, based in San Francisco, expects this month to hire 10 to 15 salespeople, mobile application developers and data analysts, on top of its 150-person workforce.

"The economy is picking up a little bit," said Amir Eisenstein, the chief marketing officer. "In the last couple of years, the mobile market has boomed."

The steady decline in unemployment, from a high of 10 percent four years ago, is welcome news for the White House. But Jason Furman, President Barack Obama's top economic adviser, said the plight of the long-term unemployed points to the need to extend emergency unemployment benefits.

About 1.3 million people who've been out of work for six months or more will lose unemployment aid if a 5-year-old program to provide extra benefits expires on Dec. 28. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the cost of an extension at $25 billion. Some Republicans on the Hill have balked at the cost.

But on Thursday, House GOP leader John Boehner said he was willing to consider extending the program.

Friday's jobs report follows other positive news. The economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.6 percent in the July-September quarter, the fastest growth since early 2012, though nearly half that gain came from businesses rebuilding stockpiles. Consumer spending grew at its slowest pace since late 2009.

But if hiring continues at its current pace, a virtuous cycle will start to build: More jobs typically lead to more pay, more spending and faster growth.

That said, more higher-paying jobs are needed to sustain the economy's momentum. Roughly half the jobs that were added in the six months through October were in four low-wage industries: retail; hotels, restaurants and entertainment; temp jobs; and home health care workers.

Consumers have been willing to spend on big-ticket items. Autos sold in November at their best pace in seven years, according to Autodata Corp. New-home sales in October bounced back from a summer downturn.

But early reports on holiday shopping have been disappointing. The National Retail Federation said sales during the Thanksgiving weekend — probably the most important stretch for retailers — fell for the first time since the group began keeping track in 2006.



Yep. Same continued good news, month after month after month. 200,000 new jobs last month, and the lowest unemployment level in five years. Just imagine how much better things would be, if the House wouldn't have fought against Obama/job growth every step of the way. Of course, when ideology and getting re-elected Is more important to those folks than actually helping those less fortunate - the unemployed - I suppose we shouldn't be surprised. Meanwhile, those same folks are hard at work, auditioning for the role of Scrooge, as they push for $40 billion in cuts to food stamp so just prior to Xmas.


Re: "Just imagine how much better things would be, if the House wouldn't have fought against Obama/job growth every step of the way."

Just imagine how much future tax liabilities would increase with another $1 trillion in stimulus spending?

With the Fed Resv. eventually tapering, who's gonna buy the increased Treasury debt?


Stimulus money will be tapering off in January, I read this morning, as the Fed has determined that things are improving enough that less stimulus is needed. You, of course, wouldn't have heard that news, since there likely is poor internet/TV reception and no newspaper delivery under that pile of sand where your head is buried. :)


Re: "Stimulus money will be tapering off in January, I read this morning,"

Only a rumor.

IMO, NOTHING is gonna happen until Ms. Yellen is confirmed and seated as Fed Chair.

Of course then again, you like grasping at straws and running with half information.

When tapering does occur, because the Fed views an improved economy, then there will be no need for a federal jobs program will there?

Shoots the h*ll out of yours & Pres. Obama's whining about a job program and confirms my observations that ALL the heavy lifting has been monetary.

Stop listening to Bill Maher. He's a half-*ssed comedian, not a business and economics expert.

JudgeMeNot's picture

No talk of the labor force participation rate? Liberals don't wanna talk about the labor force participation rate in September 2013 was 63.2%, the lowest since 1978.

The Big Dog's back

right wingnuts, always trying to move the goalposts.


I agree really good job growth and only 41% of the jobs created in November were government jobs. Nothing as good as a bigger government.


How many full-time jobs that can support a family were created? Most of this so-called job growth is temporary Christmas help and is 20-28 hours a week to eliminate requirement for Health insurance and less than 13 weeks to eliminate qualifying for unemployment when they end in January.


Some are temporary, but the increase has been a continual thing for many, many months. I suppose that you think jobs created in July/August are for the Xmas season?

I guess we all have a choice whether to be either cynical or encouraged.

JudgeMeNot's picture

Liberals don't wanna talk about the labor force participation rate in September 2013 was 63.2%, the lowest since 1978.


Oh, and while I'm at it, let's head off the usual conservative naysayers. NO ONE wants to go back to the double digit unemployment Bush gave us as a lovely parting gift when he left office in 2008. Everyone does understand that 7% is a lower number than 11%, right?

Darwin's choice

And while you're at it, how about posting the real numbers,you know, the numbers that are what the actual percentage of unemployed in the country!

The official U6 unemployment is 13.2%



Meh. You can gripe all you want, but I think we both know that things would be much much much worse, if McCain or Romney had won. Maybe you should look at the Unemployment chart (2003-2013) that Contango provided.


Re: "we both know that things would be much much much worse, if McCain or Romney had won"

Total conjecture on your part.

IMO, since the Fed is the REAL mover and shaker in this economy, it probably would have looked not too dissimilar.


Re: "double digit unemployment Bush gave us as a lovely parting gift," "11%"

Better check the stats.

Unemployment rate, Dec. '08: 7.3%

Looks like Pres. Obama's just treadin' water.

As a self-proclaimed former teacher, did you just make crap up and expect your students to fall for it as well?


;), His unbridled loved for Dear Leader cracks me up, when are people going to wake up to the fact that both parties have an equal hand it what ails our nation? They both answer to the same masters and nothing will change until our monetary policy changes. We are on a path to systemic collapse unless we drastically change how money is created and reduce our trade imbalance. Unless we address these 2 issues, we will continue to see an erosion in the quality of life for most of us.


Re: "money is created,"

It ain't so much how it's "created," it's the value.

Since the Fed Resv. was created in 1913, the USD has lost approx. 96% of it's value.

People tend to look at the nominal numbers and not the inflated ones.

Nominal numbers tend to create a false sense of wealth.

We all certainly found out how phony those inflated numbers were during the housing crash didn't we?

It took me approx. 3 yrs. in order to sell my house in Chicago. From the time we put it on the mkt. in '07, until we sold it in '09, the price we valued it at declined by 28%.

According to Zillow, it's declined an additional 38% since.


I think that how money is created is the problem. Money equals debt and debt equals money. Until we put the creation of money back into the control of congress and do away with the Federal Reserve, we are screwed and are slaves to central bankers. Back our currency with something, (gold, silver, lumber...something of value). Fiat currency is destroying the standard of living for every person on this planet, it can be inflated or deflated depending on where the business cycle is. It continues to created booms and busts and every time, the people lose.


Re: "creation of money back into the control of congress,"

With all due respect, the Fed. Resv. is ALREADY a wholly owned subsidiary of the govt.

We need a market based currency whose value can't be manipulated by any of those boobs in DC. be it gold, silver or 'whatever.'

I enjoyed the exchange between Rep. Paul and Fed Chair Bernanke:

Stop It


I really liked Paul. He always said things that EVERYONE could understand. Even some of the space cadets in here.

The Big Dog's back

No both parties don't have an equal hand in it. One party only cares about the 1%. The other party cares about the 99%.


No both parties aren't equal. Only one directly caused the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history and is bound and determined to do that for our entire nation


You realize that was W, right?

JudgeMeNot's picture

If Barry Obama had a city, it would look like Detroit.


Neither party has all the answers, but the past 6 years have shown us that things have gotten better under a 2-term Democrat in the office, and stunningly worse under a 2-term Republican president. I'll take the lesser of 2 evils, any day, especially since the choices your party offers are so stunningly BAD.

Darwin's choice

Absolute Bullchit!!!!!!

Detroit democrat better?


I wish I'd jotted down the source where I read the 11%; it was awhile ago, so I'll defer to the link you provided. My question to you: Over the past year, you've made it abundantly clear that you distrust all gov't provided information, when it comes to the economy/unemployment. So why would you use a gov't provided graph to make a point? Apparently, their info is only good when it doesn't contradict your viewpoint?

Interesting graph, isn't it? Two things are immediately evident. #1 Between Jan. 2008 and Jan. 2009, the graph looks like a hockey stick: huge jump from 5% to 8% unemployment. #2: Unemployment continued to rise, reaching a 10% unemployment level midway through Obama's first year in office. Not coincidentally, they began to immediately drop after Obama's economic plan began to be implemented.

Seriously dude, look at the chart. From Jan. 2007 on, it got worse and worse under Bush, almost instantly better and continually better under Obama. It becomes even more embarrassing for Bush, when you realize that he inherited a surplus budget and turned it bad, while Obama inherited a deficit budget and gradually turned it better.


Re: "I wish I'd jotted down the source where I read the 11%; it was awhile ago,"

Don't have much of a mind for numbers do you?

You mostly spew out rehashed progressive rhetorical nonsense.

Who give a sh*t where you read that nonsense? I'll stick with the Fed's numbers.


Re: "he inherited a surplus budget and turned it bad,"


The run up to Y2K caused increased business cap-ex spending and subsequently greater tax revenue creating a "temporary" budget surplus.

The Mkt. hit it's high in Mar. 2000 and began declining.

Pres. Bush "inherited" a mild recession.

Remember your pal, Mr. Krugman writing for a housing bubble in order to replace the bursted Tech bubble?


Re: "they began to immediately drop after Obama's economic plan began to be implemented."

Asked repeatedly:

What WAS/IS "Obama's economic plan" that is producing this employment?


Two people in the Obama administration did promise that if Obama would get the 800billion dollar stimulus package that the unemployment would not go above 8% they got it and it did go well above 8%


"Economist Christina Romer regrets saying jobless rate would stay below 8 percent,"

Volcker, Romer, Summers, Daley and other economic advisors - LONG GONE

Pres. Obama doesn't listen to much of anyone outside of his dominatrix, Valerie Jarrett.


Nothing occurs inside a vacuum. The Obama administration, perhaps foolishly, believed that House Republicans would actually paddle the boat in the right direction. That didn't happen.


Re: "The Obama administration, perhaps foolishly, believed"

So they believed their own "hope and change" nonsense? Not surprising.

So why'd the Dems not put forth a budget earlier in 2010 and risk an even greater trouncing that Nov.?

Darwin's choice

More lies from Obama jr.! nice try coasterfan, however, people are aware of the constant(monthly) spewing of crap from you and Obama. Keep trying to shine that spotlight away from Obamacare!

The Big Dog's back

Shine that light on Obamacare. People who are going to get it are happy as heck about it. So keep on shining that light.

Darwin's choice

"People who are going to get it are happy as heck about it"

Dog, I'm going to haunt you with that quote of yours in a few short months!!!


Are you paying for it or claiming the welfare version?


Could $8-10 per gallon of gas be in our future to subsidize/contribute/spread the wealth for that happy ray of shining light?


LOL. Actually, I don't mind anyone shining the light on Obamacare. The rollout stunk, but the law is going to work, and already is, now that they've finally taken steps to make the website work. 3 years from now, it'll be like Social Security and Medicare. Another highly successful federal program that conservatives initially opposed.

Your 2016 candidate is going to run on an anti-Obamacare platform which would promise to TAKE AWAY health care from 30 million people. Good luck with that.


Re: "3 years from now, it'll be like Social Security and Medicare."

With hundreds of trillions of dollars in projected unfunded liabilities and on the cusp of bankrupcy? Agreed.

Darwin's choice

So, is anyone making payments into this slush fund?


The ONLY figure that REALLY matters:

"The labor force participation rate changed little (63.0 percent) in November."

Nov. 1978 - 63.5%

Nov. 2013 - 63%

The U.S. labor force participation rate under Pres. Obama is WORSE than even during the disasterous Carter Admin. 35 yrs. ago.

Without the Fed Resv's cheap money and easy credit policies this economy would be in the sh*t can.


Carter started the march toward NAFTA that Clinton signed in 1993 and there has been a continuous "Whooshing" as our jobs went overseas. There are consequences to bad legislation.

The Big Dog's back

Of course Raygun and bushie had nothing to do with it.

Dr. Information

Small news. U6 numbers are still staggering. Need that number to return to 10% or lower.

Also LFPR as pointed above is a solid number to look at.


Obamabots can say "hip hip," but I'd hold off on the "hurray" until February when the seasonal hiring will be over and the lay offs begin. The only thing propping up this economy is the Fed with it's 85B per month stimulus and cheap money. Yes, things appear to be getting better, but it is smoke and mirrors. The "wealth effect" as Peter Schiff said back in 2006 is fake, it is not real wealth and can be destroyed with another bubble bursting. Any wealth that is gained with the stock market recent up-tick can be negated and the next crisis will be worse due to much more debt. Our economy almost collapsed in 2008 and we had 8T debt, now we have 17T debt so the consequences will be even worse. Coasterfan, I have one question for you...I agree that Bush was at fault for some of what happened, but what President repealed Glass-Stegall that prevented big banks from getting into speculating? Anyone that believes one party is at fault is either blind to what is going on or just ignorant.


Then the Libocrits need not push for extending unenjoyment nor raising the minimum wage correct?

Plenty of jobs now and improving one's earnings are a cake walk right?

Darwin's choice

Obama's latest speech...


Seasonal! Wait til the holidays are over.


Median income dropped from 5 years ago, majority of non public sector jobs created were part-time and low wage service jobs, the most people in our history on welfare, more people who has stopped looking for employment and no longer counted. This is the Obama miracle, created with the largest federal deficient in history and increased by more than any other president..



The Big Dog's back

So why aren't these business owners sharing their record profits with their employees?


They do. Just not with you parasites. We gave out great bonuses this year to those that earned them.

The Big Dog's back

So someone who works at least 40 hrs a week is a parasite in your world?


Someone who WORKS is making a social/economic contribution.


Depends on their effort. Some just burn hours. Others put extra in effort.

You should know how that works. Whiners get zip.

The Big Dog's back

Ahhh yes, we have the right wingnut experts telling us it isn't so.


Ahhh yes, the far left loons still ignoring the facts.

The Big Dog's back

Opinion pieces are not FACTS!


Go do the research. Figures don't lie, but Liars can figure.

There you go again

Sure employment is up....why with all those people working to get the ACA website up and running....Obama has hired "half the country" just so his web site looks good. Yep, that's where the jobs are.....

red white and blue

419 is the only one on here with any commen since! I'm tired of hearing its obama fault its bushs fault its the a whole!


"Since"? Since when..

Darwin's choice



What does "commen" mean?

2cents's picture

Smoke and mirrors to cover the health care failure and redirect your minds. I have trouble believing anything from Washington anymore, they tend to create what they want you to hear by playing with data. We know the administrations people are great at creating and manipulating data, they are very savvy and bragged about it after the election!


Re: "creating and manipulating data"

"Rogers: WH Won’t Even Give Classified Briefings on HealthCare.Gov Security Problems"

There's one for ya!

Congress represents "We the People," and the oligarchs in the WH refuse to answer OUR questions regarding the Obama☭are monstrosity.

I find it hard to believe that the enactment of the employer mandate won't have a negative effect on employment.


Everyone conveniently forgets that even in good times the unemployment rate is about 5% or 6%. There are always the voluntarily unemployed.

Dr. Information

Bottom line is, the Feds have been stimulating the economy from going into a tailspin for 5 years now. Unplug the life support and see how it goes.


Re: "Unplug the life support and see how it goes."

Rumors of tapering in Sept. caused the Mkt. to swoon and the 10 yr. Tresy. to edge close to a 3% yield.

Ultimately, it's all positive to remove some of the malinvestments from the economy.

Unfortunately, a rise in interest rates will mean that the costs associated with operating an inflated & bloated public sector will also increase.

The latest rumor is that tapering will occur in or after March after Ms. Yellen is likely seated.

Warren Buffett called the Fed the "greatest hedge fund in history."

QE was something that was never tried before, let's hope that the pointy headed academics can pull off a reverse action.

Hedge funds never go bust do they? :)

The Big Dog's back

Let me think, why was the economy going into a tailspin to begin with? Oh yeah, CONservative, Repub policies.


Re: "why was the economy going into a tailspin to begin with?"

Because the Democrats took control of Congress in 2007? :)

The Big Dog's back

Repubs took control of Congress in 2010. Is that why the economy is in a tailspin?


Last time I looked... the Senate is in the dim's control, and has been since 2007. The House is 1/2 of Congress and the Senate is the other half. So that makes you wrong... again. You must be getting used to hearing that, seems to happen often.


Re: "Repubs took control of Congress in 2010."

Wrong. The Repubs took control of the House of Representatives in 2011.

"economy is in a tailspin"?

You were referring to the '07-'08 financial crisis weren't you?

Yes, the Dems controlled both houses of Congress then.

The Big Dog's back

This just in: Repubs now declare Obamacare is the cause of Climate Change and the Great Recession of 2008-09.


Contanko/Dr.out - 2016. They have all the answers.


Re: "They have all the answers."

Only in your delusional "let govt. do it" and "we can have it all" bankrupt mentality kurtie.

I have many, many more questions than answers.

However, I prefer to think that I know what are the correct decisions for me and mine and have repeatedly agreed to allow you the same right if only you'd pay attention.


My family has made it safe for you & yours to exist. Yet you have had my speech deleted. Always a taker, never a doer. Typical of most Americans nowadays. Tell your daughter again to work harder.


Re: "My family, (snip)"

Whaa, whaa, whaa. You owe ME. Life's unfair. I hate you! Whaa, whaa, whaa.

God! What a whiner. Really pathetic 'if' you're an adult.

The Big Dog's back

pooh, you seem to do most of the whining on here. Whining about Obama in every other sentence.

Darwin's choice

Obama giving big dog and coasterfan their latest marching orders!

Dr. Information

Awe, poor kurtess, crying that nobody does anything anymore, that he did it all.


For you Winnie . . . . ./- .. / - . . . gerke


@kate Google is paying 75$/hour! Just work for few hours & have more time with friends and family. On Sunday I bought themselves a Alfa Romeo from having made $5637 this month. I never thought I'd be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try this