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National unemployment rate drops to 8.6 percent, Illinois at 10.1 percent

December 2, 2011

Online Staff Report

The national unemployment rate has dropped to 8.6 percent, its lowest since March 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s November jobs report, released Dec. 2.

While 13.3 million Americans remain unemployed, 120,000 jobs were created in November. The October unemployment rate was 9 percent.

The biggest job gains came in the retail, restaurant and bar categories, likely the result of holiday hiring. Professional and business services also saw increases. Additionally, 300,000 people halted their job search and are no longer counted in the unemployment rate.

An average of 143,000 jobs per month have been added over the past three months, enough to keep up with population growth. During the three months previous to that, 84,000 jobs were added per month.

Regardless of recent job gains, only about 2.5 million of the 8.7 million jobs lost since employers began shedding workers in February 2008 have been regained.

The jobs report is based on employers’ payrolls and household surveys.

While the national unemployment rate has dropped to 8.6 percent, Illinois’ unemployment rate stands at 10.1 percent.

U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo (R-16) issued the following statement in response to the new unemployment numbers: “We expected to see some job growth as the stores staffed up for holiday shopping. While the latest jobs report offered minimal gains, it’s always nice to see people returning to work. But we must do much more. Employment in manufacturing has remained essentially unchanged since July and the number of jobs in construction has shown little change, on net, since early 2010. My American Jobs Agenda would go a long way to help our employers expand and create jobs that have the greatest potential to generate output and jobs from other sectors of our economy.

The uncertainty our employers face over their tax liabilities and health care costs continues to discourage job creation in this weak economy,” Manzullo continued. “The president needs to stop threatening tax increases that will put more Americans on the unemployment lines. We need to work with our employers to help them create jobs by reducing their cost of doing business as well as eliminating unnecessary regulatory burdens that stifle growth. A great start would be for the Senate to stop stalling and act on the 25 jobs bills the House approved earlier this year that the Senate continues to ignore. We need to send these bills to the president so we can give our employers the confidence they need to put Americans back to work.”

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