Good news — Hurricane Sandy did not have the doomsday impact on the November jobs report that some were predicting and the national unemployment rate has fallen to 7.7 percent.
(Reuters) – Employers hired more workers than expected in November, with the labor market showing little apparent impact from Superstorm Sandy and jobs growth remaining on a steady but slow path. [...]
Nonfarm employment increased by 146,000 jobs last month after rising by 138,000 in October, the Labor Department said on Friday, defying expectations of a sharp pullback related to Sandy.
The government said the storm, which slammed the densely populated East Coast in late October, did not have a substantive impact on last month’s employment and unemployment estimates.
There are some caveats to the lower unemployment rate, such as a shrinking of the labor force, however to get a sense of how much better than expected this report is you should consider the results of a recent survey taken by Bloomberg.
Job growth of 146,000, which is calculated from a survey of establishments, was stronger than the 85,000 predicted by economists surveyed by Bloomberg. It was closely in line with the average of roughly 150,000 per month for all of 2011 and 2012. Retail was a big job producer, with 53,000 added to payrolls. Manufacturing employment was roughly flat.
The 85,000 predicted by economists was the nightmare scenario of Hurricane Sandy wiping out huge swaths of jobs. Fortunately that didn’t happen.