The national unemployment rate sank from 7.3 percent to 7.0 percent in November, with 203,000 new jobs added to employer payrolls, the ""U.S. Department of Labor"":http://www.bls.gov/ reported Friday.[IMAGE] [COLUMN_BREAK]
The Labor Department counted 10.9 million unemployed persons in November. The number of persons unemployed less than five weeks declined by 300,000, partially reflecting the return to work of federal employees on furlough in October.
At the same time, the number of long-term unemployed--those jobless for 27 weeks or more--was essentially unchanged at 4.1 million. These individuals accounted for 37.3 percent of November's unemployed. According to federal officials, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 718,000 over the past 12 months.
Commenting on the ""latest job market numbers"":http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm, analysts at the research firm ""IHS Global Insight"":http://www.ihs.com said, ""This report ratifies the argument that the economy is seeing very stable growth, and is poised for acceleration in 2014 as some of the factors that hurt growth in 2013 dissipate.""