The U.S. economy added 203,000 jobs in November, which was much stronger than the the 185,000 expected. The October number was revised modestly downward to 200,000 from an earlier estimate of 204,000.
Adding to optimism this morning, the unemployment rate plunged to 7.0% from 7.3% last month. This improvement came as the labour force participation rate rose to 63.0% from 62.8%.
Despite the improvements in the numbers, the U.S. labour market remains anemic.
Calculated Risk runs a chart every month that puts the current jobs recovery into perspective.
“This graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms, compared to previous post WWII recessions,” writes Bill McBride of Calculated Risk. “The dotted line is ex-Census hiring. This shows the depth of the recent employment recession — worse than any other post-war recession — and the relatively slow recovery due to the lingering effects of the housing bust and financial crisis.”