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Economy Looking Up In Obama’s Final Days As President

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter

The unemployment rate declined and the number of new jobs increased in November, as President Barack Obama wraps up his final months in the White House.

The U.S. economy created 178,000 new jobs, mainly in the professional, business, and healthcare fields, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ November employment report, released Friday.

The professional and business sectors added 63,000 jobs in November, gaining 571,000 so far in 2016. While accounting and bookkeeping jobs added 18,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage points, falling to 4.6 percent. The labor-force participation rate declined to 62.7 percent, the lowest level since the 1970s.

The number of unemployed people declined by 387,000 to 7.4 million. Both the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons have seen little net-change since August of 2015.

The number of people who lost their jobs or worked in part-time labor fell by 194,000 to 3.6 million in November. The number of people who are employed part-time changed little last month, but is down 416,000 this year.

There were 1.9 million marginally attached workers in November, up 215,000 from earlier this year. Marginally attached workers are people not in the labor force, but available to work, and have sought employment at sometime within the last 12 months.

The number of discouraged workers, those who are no longer seeking employment because they believe there are no opportunities, was 519,000 in November — little net-change from earlier this year.

The average hourly wage for non-farm sector jobs fell by 3 cents in November to $25.89. Over the course of the year, average hourly wages have risen by 2.5 percent.

Wall Street was expecting the economy to add 180,000 new jobs, an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent, and average hourly wages to tick up by 0.2 percent.

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