In good news for the economy, payrolls picked up 120,000 jobs over November, helping shrink employment to 8.6 percent ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the lowest in more than two years.[IMAGE]
The ""Labor Department"":http://www.dol.gov/ releases payroll figures every month via the ""Bureau of Labor Statistics"":http://www.bls.gov/home.htm.
Private-sector employment figures carried the day by adding 140,000 jobs, buffeted only by 20,000 in job losses for state and local government.
The more surprising headline came from a decline in unemployment, which hovered at or above 9 percent for a number of months before November. Total unemployment fell by more than half a million to hit about 13 million over the same month.
""Nigel Gault"":http://www.ihs.com/capabilities/experts/nigel-gault.aspx, chief U.S. economist with ""IHS Global Insight"":http://www.ihs.com/, credited less employment with a drop in ""fewer people looking for jobs, as the labor force declined, which is unwelcome.""
Several housing sectors participated in the payroll climb, while others contracted amid uncertainty about the markets.[COLUMN_BREAK]
Financial activities moved forward overall by 8 percent from October to November, with real estate and rental and leasing services adding about 1,951 jobs last month ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô notable since multifamily housing remains a staple for consumers in the current market.
The real estate sector added new jobs at a 1.6-percent clip from October, while rental and leasing services offered a 1.4-percent pickup in November.
The construction industry underwent a sharp 12-percent squeeze over November despite reportedly higher confidence and residential construction spending. The residential building sector saw a slide in jobs by 3.0 percent, while nonresidential building reported a 1.2-percent loss from earlier payrolls.
The economy ""still faces domestic headwinds (from the legacy of household and government debt), but the major threat remains external from slowing growth in the rest of the world and from the Eurozone's financial crisis,"" he said.
Trouble in the euro zone ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a mainstay in debates about the economy ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô continues to undermine confidence in markets. The ""Federal Reserve"":http://www.federalreserve.gov/ coordinated a multinational effort with five foreign central banks to make it easier to borrow on the dollar internationally.
Despite concerns about Europe, economists by and large celebrated this week as a boon for the country at large.
The ""National Association of Realtors"":http://www.realtor.org/ reported that pending-home sales climbed forward by 10.4 percent in October, figures framed by a surge in record-breaking Black Friday results and a jump by stock markets to hit their highest note since March 2009.
""The big picture shows an economy that has picked up steam in the second half of the year,"" Gault added.