Unemployment rate drops in December 2011

The U.S. unemployment rate fell from 8.6 percent in November 2011 to 8.5 percent in December 2011—the lowest level since February 2009—as employers added 200,000 jobs, according to The Washington Post.

The unemployment rate has dropped for four consecutive months. Additionally, the economy has generated 100,000 jobs or more per month for six months straight, which hasn't happened since April 2006.

The December 2011 report showed general improvement as average hourly pay rose; the average work week lengthened; and hiring was strong across almost all major industries.

In December 2011, the transportation and warehousing sector added 50,000 jobs; retail sector added 28,000 jobs; manufacturing and health care sectors added 23,000 jobs; and construction sector added 17,000 jobs. The professional and business services sector and government sector, changed little.

During 2011, the economy added 1.6 million jobs compared with 940,000 in 2010. Additionally, the unemployment rate averaged 8.9 percent in 2011 compared with 9.6 percent in 2010. Economists predict jobs gains will exceed 2.1 million this year.

There currently are 13.1 million unemployed people in the U.S.

Date : 1/6/2012