Payrolls rose more than anticipated in November and the jobless rate fell to an almost four-year low, indicating superstorm Sandy had little effect on the U.S. labor market.
Employment climbed by 146,000 following a revised 138,000 gain in October that was less than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 91 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a gain of 85,000. Sandy â€śdid not substantively impactâ€ť the data, the agency said. The unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008, as size of the labor force shrank.
Gains in hiring indicate consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy, will keep expanding. At the same time, concern about more than $600 billion in fiscal tightening slated for early next year threatens growth and may set back employment, one reason Federal Reserve policy makers are weighing increasing stimulus.