Unemployment Rate Drops to 7.7 Percent

Katie Pavlich

12/7/2012 8:39:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

New numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the unemployment rate has dropped from 7.9 percent to 7.7 percent.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 146,000 in November, and the unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in retail trade, professional and business services, and healthcare.

Economists had predicted the unemployment rate would go up as a result of Hurricane Sandy. BLS said the storm didn't have a large impact on the new statistics.

Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the Northeast coast on October 29th, causing severe damage in some states. Nevertheless, our survey response rates in the affected states were within normal ranges. Our analysis suggests that Hurricane Sandy did not substantively impact the national employment and unemployment estimates for November. BLS will release the regional and state estimates on December 21st.

Although the unemployment rate has gone down, the number of unemployed people has remained the same signaling more people have simply given up looking for work. The number of long term unemployed people also remains the same and many people looking for full-time work are still working part time jobs.

The unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent in November. The number of unemployed persons, at 12.0 million, changed little.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 4.8 million in November. These individuals accounted for 40.1 percent of the unemployed.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers), at 8.2 million in November, was little changed over the month. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

Just yesterday Gallup reported their seasonally adjusted numbers for November which puts the unemployment rate at 8.3 percent and underemployment at 17.2 percent.

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The unemployment rate has gone down, but Americans aren't heading back to work.