US jobless rate drops to 8.6 pct, hiring picks up

By REUTERS
December 2, 2011 16:10

 
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WASHINGTON - US employment growth picked up speed in November and the jobless rate dropped to a 2-1/2 year low of 8.6 percent, further evidence the economic recovery was gaining momentum.

Nonfarm payrolls increased 120,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, in line with economists' expectations for a gain of 122,000.

The relative strength of the report was also bolstered by revisions to the employment counts for September and October to show 72,000 more jobs created than previously reported.

While part of the decline in the unemployment rate from 9.0 percent in October was due to people leaving the labor force, the household survey from which the jobless rate is derived also showed solid gains in employment

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