Economy Adds 146K Jobs, Rate Falls to 7.7 Pct. - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Economy Adds 146K Jobs, Rate Falls to 7.7 Pct.

Posted: Updated:
In this Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 photo, a person fills out an application at the Fort Lauderdale Career Fair, in Dania Beach, Fla. (Photo: AP) In this Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 photo, a person fills out an application at the Fort Lauderdale Career Fair, in Dania Beach, Fla. (Photo: AP)

WASHINGTON (AP)- The U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008. The government said Superstorm Sandy had only a minimal effect on the figures.

The Labor Department's report Friday offered a mixed picture of the economy.

Hiring remained steady during the storm and in the face of looming tax increases. But the government said employers added 49,000 fewer jobs in October and September than it initially estimated.

And the unemployment rate fell to a four-year low in November from 7.9 percent in October mostly because more people stopped looking for work and weren't counted as unemployed.

The report "is something of a mixed bag but, on balance, it's a positive," said Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics.

Sandy's effect on the figures was much smaller many analysts had predicted. The government noted that as long as employees worked at least one day during a pay period — two weeks for most people — its survey would have counted them as employed.

Still, there were signs that the storm disrupted economic activity. Construction employment dropped 20,000. And weather prevented 369,000 people from getting to work — the most for any month in nearly two years. These workers were still counted as employed.

Investors appeared pleased with the report. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 56 points in the first hour of trading.

Since July, the economy has added an average of 158,000 jobs a month. That's a modest pickup from 146,000 average in the first six months of the year.

The job growth suggests that most employers aren't yet delaying hiring because of the "fiscal cliff." That's the combination of sharp tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect next year unless the White House and Congress reach a budget deal before then.

There is "no obvious impact from the looming fiscal cliff yet," Ashworth added, "but it could still have a greater effect on December's figures."

In November, retailers added 53,000 positions. Temporary help companies added 18,000 and education and health care also gained 18,000.

Auto manufacturers added nearly 10,000 jobs.

Still, overall manufacturing jobs fell 7,000. That was pushed down by a loss of 12,000 jobs in food manufacturing that likely reflects the layoff of workers at Hostess.

Sandy forced restaurants, retailers and other businesses to close in late October and early November in 24 states, particularly in the Northeast.

Ashworth noted that hiring by companies was actually better in October than the government first thought. The overall job figures were revised lower that month because governments cut about 35,000 more jobs than first estimated.

The U.S. grew at a solid 2.7 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter. But many economists say growth is slowing to a 1.5 percent rate in the October-December quarter, largely because of the storm and threat of the fiscal cliff. That's not enough growth to lower the unemployment rate.

The storm held back consumer spending and income, which drive economic growth. Consumer spending declined in October and work interruptions caused by Sandy reduced wages and salaries that month by about $18 billion at an annual rate, the government said.

Still, many say economic growth could accelerate next year if the fiscal cliff is avoided. The economy is also expected to get a boost from efforts to rebuild in the Northeast after the storm.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Suicide Prevention Walk in Ocean City

    Suicide Prevention Walk in Ocean City

    09/24/2017 02:09:00 -04:002017-09-24 06:09:00 GMT
    Sunday, September 24 2017 2:11 AM EDT2017-09-24 06:11:40 GMT
    People from all over Maryland gathered in Ocean City to remember those who committed suicide and suffer from mental illness.More
    People from all over Maryland gathered in Ocean City to remember those who committed suicide and suffer from mental illness.More
  • Murder Investigation Underway in Somerset County

    Murder Investigation Underway in Somerset County

    09/24/2017 21:18:00 -04:002017-09-25 01:18:00 GMT
    Sunday, September 24 2017 9:26 PM EDT2017-09-25 01:26:08 GMT
    (Photo: MGN)(Photo: MGN)
    Princess Anne, Md. - As of late Sunday night, Maryland State Police investigators were still on the scene of an apparent homicide in Somerset County that occurred Sunday afternoon.Investigators say the victim is a male who is believed to be in his 30's.More
    Princess Anne, Md. - As of late Sunday night, Maryland State Police investigators were still on the scene of an apparent homicide in Somerset County that occurred Sunday afternoon.Investigators say the victim is a male who is believed to be in his 30's.More
  • Town of Dewey Beach To Support Town Manager Legally, Delays Vote on Investigator's Recommendations

    Town of Dewey Beach To Support Town Manager Legally, Delays Vote on Investigator's Recommendations

    09/22/2017 20:27:00 -04:002017-09-23 00:27:00 GMT
    Friday, September 22 2017 8:45 PM EDT2017-09-23 00:45:20 GMT
    Dewey Beach Town Hall (Photo: WBOC)Dewey Beach Town Hall (Photo: WBOC)
    DEWEY BEACH, Del. - The Town of Dewey Beach's commissioners voted unanimously to "indemnify" town manager Marc Appelbaum on Friday night-- meaning they will support his hiring of an attorney and legal fees if necessary."If you cant indemnify people, if yMore
    DEWEY BEACH, Del. - The Town of Dewey Beach's commissioners voted unanimously to "indemnify" town manager Marc Appelbaum on Friday night-- meaning they will support his hiring of an attorney and legal fees if necessary."If you cant indemnify people, if yMore
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Murder Investigation Underway in Somerset County

    Murder Investigation Underway in Somerset County

    09/24/2017 21:18:00 -04:002017-09-25 01:18:00 GMT
    Sunday, September 24 2017 9:26 PM EDT2017-09-25 01:26:08 GMT
    (Photo: MGN)(Photo: MGN)
    Princess Anne, Md. - As of late Sunday night, Maryland State Police investigators were still on the scene of an apparent homicide in Somerset County that occurred Sunday afternoon.Investigators say the victim is a male who is believed to be in his 30's.More
    Princess Anne, Md. - As of late Sunday night, Maryland State Police investigators were still on the scene of an apparent homicide in Somerset County that occurred Sunday afternoon.Investigators say the victim is a male who is believed to be in his 30's.More
  • Woman Makes 125-Mile Journey Across Tubman Byway

    Woman Makes 125-Mile Journey Across Tubman Byway

    09/21/2017 17:27:00 -04:002017-09-21 21:27:00 GMT
    Thursday, September 21 2017 5:36 PM EDT2017-09-21 21:36:32 GMT
    It's 9 a.m. and Mashona Council is beginning her day.More
    It's 9 a.m. and Mashona Council is beginning her day.More
  • Two Arrested for Drugs & Firearm in Dover

    Two Arrested for Drugs & Firearm in Dover

    09/22/2017 12:12:00 -04:002017-09-22 16:12:00 GMT
    Friday, September 22 2017 1:01 PM EDT2017-09-22 17:01:25 GMT
    Two Dover residents were arrested following a search warrant at a local motel.More
    Two Dover residents were arrested for possession of drugs and a firearm following a search warrant at a local motel.More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices