November unemployment is a year-end gift for the U.S. labor market


It's unfortunate that the nation had to wait until the end of the year to get it, but the November employment report may represent the best economic news the U.S. has received in 2009. The economy shed just 11,000 jobs in the month, the U.S. Labor Department announced Friday. It was the lowest job-loss total since December 2007, and the unemployment rate fell to 10% from 10.2% in October.

A Bloomberg News survey had forecast a drop of 100,000 jobs in November. The Labor Department revised the October figure to 111,000, down from the previously released 190,000 total, and September's number shrank to 139,000 lost jobs, compared to the initial report of 219,000. During the recession -- which may have ended in July -- the U.S. economy has lost a staggering 7.7 million jobs.