National unemployment rate drops to 7.7 percent in November

The U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008 according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Bureau of Labor Statistics attributed the cause to less people looking for work and being counted as unemployed.

Hurricane Sandy’s effect on the figures was much smaller than many analysts had predicted.Still, there were signs that the storm disrupted economic activity with a decline in construction employment, dropping to 20,000.

Since July, the economy has added an average of 158,000 jobs a month; a modest pickup from the 146,000 average in the first six months of the year.

In November specifically, retailers added 53,000 positions, temporary help companies added 18,000, education and health care gained 18,000, and auto manufacturers added nearly 10,000 jobs.

Overall manufacturing jobs fell 7,000.