If you didn’t think the holidays were a good time to get hired, you’re probably in for a big surprise this year. Throughout November employers added 203,000 jobs; a full 23,000 more jobs than economists had expected.
Similarly, the unemployment rate, which hovered at 7.3% in October, dropped to 7%, while the labor force participation rate rose slightly from 62.8% in October to a solid 63% in November.
For now 2013 is on track to be the best year for job creation since 2005, before the economic collapse. In the past 12-months job growth has averaged around 195,000 new jobs a month. And the solid job growth shown throughout 2013 suggests that the economy may have begun to accelerate.
But, while many economists see the decrease in unemployment and the increase in the labor participation rate as a positive indicator, some point out that although the unemployment rate has dropped steadily throughout 2013, the decline hasn’t been solely driven by the creation of full-time, high income jobs. Many of the jobs that have been added have been part time or lower wage base positions.
Nonetheless, the news remains encouraging for the 11 million Americans who remain unemployed. This month’s job report shows that hiring was broad based with big gains across several sectors that represent the highest and lowest ends of the pay scale.
In the aftermath of the financial crisis, the U.S. lost 8.7 million jobs. As of November, 7.4 million of those jobs have been brought back.