Contrary to expectations of a big negative impact of Superstorm Sandy, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the storm did not substantively impact job growth in November. The 146,000 jobs added in November therefore represent an underlying trend of middling job growth, in line with the average job growth of the prior three months of 154,000. This kind of growth rate is enough to hold our ground but not much more. (In particular, the drop in the unemployment rate to 7.7 percent in November did not happen for “good” reasons—it was due to workers dropping out of the labor force rather than to unemployed workers finding work.) At this rate of job growth, it will take us more than 10 years to get back to the pre-recession unemployment rate. The November data provide a clear reminder that mass joblessness remains the real and present economic danger this country faces.
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