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unemployment rate
bureau of labor statistics
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Unemployment Rate Falls Considerably In November
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According to a news release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on December 2, 2011, the official U-3 unemployment rate fell 0.4 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted rate of 8.6%. This represents a significant decrease in one month and a large decrease from one year ago when the unemployment rate was a seasonally adjusted 9.8%.

The more comprehensive, or U-6, unemployment rate fell even further to a seasonally adjusted 15.6% in November. This is down from a seasonally adjusted 16.2% in October 2011 and down from a seasonally adjusted 17.0% in November 2010. The number of total unemployed is at 13.3 million, which is down 594,000 in November according to the release.

The U-3 unemployment rate is defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the total unemployed as a percent of the labor force and is considered to be the official unemployment rate. The U-6 unemployment rate is defined as the total unemployed as a percent of the civilian labor force, plus those “marginally attached,” including discouraged workers and those working part-time who want to have full-time employment.

Why Has The Rate Improved So Much And Will It Continue?

There are several reasons why the unemployment rate may have dropped so significantly in November. The economy has grown modestly and certain sectors, such as manufacturing and automobiles, have seen higher growth. Recent hiring for the holiday season may have also contributed, and high retail sales so far are also encouraging for the overall economy.

It is unclear if this trend will continue into 2012 as pressures from the Eurozone debt crisis may have an influence on the global economy if the situation cannot be rectified and contained. This crisis is still unfolding, and the outcome is still unknown. Economic growth projections for 2012 are lower than current growth and an economic slowdown, if it occurs, may lead to an increase in the unemployment rate.

What’s In Store For The Recently Hired Workers?

Those people heading back to work may be better able to improve their financial picture and get their savings and credit restored. Savings may have been depleted during the period of unemployment or underemployment. Credit may also have been damaged due to the inability to pay certain debts, and credit tips are available that may assist those getting back on track. Given the previous economic news this year, December is shaping up to be a much better month. Time will tell if this is just an early Christmas present or a sign of things to come.


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