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U.S. unemployment drops to four-year low

  • The United States added 146,000 jobs in November, according to official data released on Friday.

    The surprisingly strong performance saw the unemployment rate drop to a four-year low of 7.7 percent of the workforce. The figure for October sat at 7.9 percent.

    The figure came well above most analysts' expectations and continues a rise that began in July.

    The retail sector created a bulk of the jobs with professional services and IT also providing significant contributions. The construction sector, food manufacturing and chemicals recorded considerable job losses.

    According to some economists, the decline in the unemployment rate since 2008 is due to people dropping out of the workforce either due to retirement or because they have given up looking for work.

    The unemployment figure only includes those actively seeking a job.