The economy added 203,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell to 7 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Analysts had expected 185,000 jobs to be added. The unemployment rate is the lowest since November 2008, according to Bloomberg News. Job growth has averaged 195,000 per month over the past year.
The retail and food service sectors continued to add jobs, with 22,000 and 18,000 added in December, respectively. Retail has added an average of 31,000 jobs a month over the last year, and food service has added 28,000. These jobs pay so little that many workers struggle just to get by, something that has sparked widespread strikes.
Federal employment fell by 7,000 jobs, and 92,000 of those jobs have been lost over the past year.