The national unemployment rate fell in November to 7.7 percent from October's rate of 7.9 percent as employers added 146,000 jobs in the month, beating economic predictions of a gain of 93,000 jobs.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics in its monthly report issued this morning said Hurricane Sandy, which was expected to have depressed the number of jobs during the month, turned out not to be a factor in national employment.
The report showed that manufacturing lost 7,000 jobs during the month with the production of primary metals such as steel and aluminum down 1,700 jobs.
Government jobs were also down, with 1,000 fewer in November than in October even as state governments added 6,000 jobs. Local governments added 1,400 municipal jobs but were offset by local schools which cut 3,100 jobs as the federal government cut 5,000 workers.
Private education and health services experienced a net gain of 18,000 jobs, with educational services down 3,700 jobs and health care up 22,000 jobs, 8,300 of which were in hospitals.
In advance of the holiday season, retailers added 52,600 jobs with 33,000 of those in clothing stores.
Ann Belser: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1699.