US jobless rate sinks to 4.2% as many more people find jobs
Dec 03, 2021 1 min, 9 secs
WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s unemployment rate tumbled last month to its lowest point since the pandemic struck, even as employers appeared to slow their hiring — a mixed picture that pointed to a resilient economy that’s putting more people to work.

The government reported Friday that private businesses and other employers added just 210,000 jobs in November, the weakest monthly gain in nearly a year and less than half of October’s gain of 546,000.

The unemployment rate plummeted from 4.6% to 4.2% as a substantial 1.1 million Americans said they found jobs last month.

The unemployment rate is calculated from a survey of households, which found that 1.1 million more people reported that they were employed last month.

A separate survey of employers, known as the payroll survey, found that just 210,000 jobs were added last month.

For months, employers have been struggling with worker shortages because many people who lost jobs in the pandemic have not, for various reasons, returned to the workforce.

The uptick in the number of people looking for work is important because even as the jobless rate has steadily declined this year, the proportion of Americans who are working or searching for jobs has barely budged.

One result is that there are now about 3.6 million fewer people with jobs than there were before the pandemic.

Whether or not more people start searching for jobs is a critical question for the Federal Reserve.


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