The unemployment rate fell to 7.7% for November, according to a Department of Labor report [link opens in PDF] released today. This follows October's 0.1-percentage-point rise to 7.9%.
Despite a 146,000 increase in nonfarm payroll employment, the total number of unemployed persons remained relatively unchanged at 12 million. The 7.7% is a full percentage point under November 2011's rate.
The report takes special note of Superstorm Sandy, saying the storm "did not substantively impact the national employment and unemployment estimates for November."
Among sectors with the largest employment gains were retail trade (+53,000), professional and business services (+43,000), and health care (+20,000).