Before getting too optimistic over the drop in unemployment from 9% to 8.6%, which admittedly sounds great, we must dig a little deeper to get all the facts. First of all, it's Christmas season, so retailers are hiring people on a temporary basis, though in all fairness that was the case the last two Christmases as well, and the numbers didn't fall substantially then.
The key point to notice is the number of Americans leaving the work force. Some could be retiring, but let's face it -- most are probably so discouraged by the poor job market that they've given up looking. 278,000 jobs were added, while 315,000 left the job market. How is that good news?
Read from Weasel Zippers:
Obama’s Economy So Bad Another 315,000 Americans Have Given Up Looking For Work…
"Don’t buy into today’s 'good' news the unemployment rate dropped to 8.6%, the 315K people who gave up looking for work are no longer counted when the rate is calculated.
(Bloomberg) — 'Job gains in the U.S. picked up last month and the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to the lowest level since March 2009, a decline augmented by the departure of Americans from the labor force.
Payrolls climbed 120,000, after a revised 100,000 increase in October, with more than half the hiring coming from retailers and temporary help agencies, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey called for a 125,000 gain. The jobless rate declined to 8.6 percent from 9 percent.
The unemployment rate, derived from a separate survey of households, was forecast to hold at 9 percent. The decrease in the jobless rate reflected a 278,000 gain in employment at the same time 315,000 Americans left the labor force.
“You’d like to see the unemployment rate coming down when people are coming into the job market, not disappearing,” James Glassman, senior economist at JP Morgan Chase & Co. in New York, said in a radio interview on “Bloomberg Surveillance” with Tom Keene.'
A little side note from Joshua Pundit:
"...it's worth noting that new claims for unemployment rose last month to a seasonally adjusted 402,000, the first time it's been over 400,000 in months."