Nation's Unemployment Rate Drops

We often talk about the necessity of job creation to a housing recovery, and last month produced good news on the country’s unemployment rate. Whether that will benefit the Chicago real estate market remains to be seen.
The Labor Department announced Friday that the November 2011 unemployment rate dropped to 8.6 percent, the lowest level in two-and-a-half years.
guy holding up a calculator that says hiredThe last time the rate was this low was in March of 2009, two months after Barack Obama was sworn into office as President of the United States.
The country created 120,000 jobs last month and has added 100,000 or more jobs for five months in a row. The last time that happened was in April of 2006, before the recession hit our economy.
The biggest U.S. job increases in November occurred in the retail, restaurant and bar categories, likely because of the holiday season. But job gains were also seen in the professional and business services, which tend to be higher-paying jobs.
The “underemployment rate,” which accounts for people working part time who want full-time jobs, also dropped last month, from 16.2 percent to 15.2 percent.
Despite the good news, the unemployment rate in Illinois still sits at 10.1 percent.
In addition, many Americans who lost their jobs during the recession are still struggling, and it’s up to Congress to help.
“Our nation’s unemployment rate experienced a significant drop to 8.6 percent in November, a full 1.2 percentage points lower than this time last year,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.
“Americans are showing more confidence in the economy. Now it’s incumbent upon Washington to give them confidence in our government to solve our biggest challenges and put millions of Americans back to work. This is a strong report, but we can’t forget those Americans who lost their jobs during the recession and are still struggling.
“Congress must act immediately to extend emergency unemployment benefits and payroll tax relief. We must pass these measures this month to continue the positive trends we’re seeing in today’s report.”