Despite expectations that Superstorm Sandy would push it higher, the U.S. unemployment rate in November fell to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008.
The economy added 146,000 jobs, with the number of unemployed holding steady at 12 million, according to a Labor Department report released today. Forty percent of those without jobs have been unemployed for at least 27 weeks.
The unemployment rates for adult men (7.2 percent), adult women (7 percent), teenagers (23.5 percent), whites (6.8 percent) and Hispanics (10 percent) showed little change in November. The unemployment rate for blacks (13.2 percent) declined.
Employment rose in most sectors, but dropped in construction. Manufacturing employment was flat, with losses in food and chemical manufacturing offset by gains in the manufacture of automobiles and wood products.
Average hourly earnings for all non-farm employees rose by 4 cents in November, to $23.63. Average hourly earnings in Decatur in October, the last month available, were $18.08.
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