Growth in the nation's labor market far exceeded forecasts last month, a signal that businesses are proving resilient through the disruption caused by Superstorm Sandy, the monster hurricane that punished the East Coast and disrupted that key artery of the economy, and the uncertain political situation. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell to 7.7 percent.
The U.S. added 146,000 new jobs last month, new Labor Department data shows. Government economists say the hurricane didn't impede November's tally. Last month's figure fits with the labor market's performance this year. The country had averaged a monthly gain of 151,000 this year. In the past three months, that figure was closer to 170,000.