With one month remaining this year, the U.S. private sector has now added 1.67 million jobs in 2011, well ahead of last year’s private-sector total of 1.2 million, and the best year for businesses since 2006.
Reuters) - The U.S. unemployment rate tumbled to a 2-1/2 year low in November, even though the pace of hiring remained too slow to suggest a significant acceleration in the labor market recovery.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 120,000 jobs, the Labor Department said on Friday, and the jobless rate dropped to 8.6 percent, the lowest since March 2009, from 9 percent in October.
It was the biggest monthly decline since January. While part of the decrease was due to people leaving the labor force, the household survey from which the department calculates the unemployment rate also showed solid gains in employment.
"The economy is continuing to head in the right direction," said Millan Mulraine, senior macro strategist at TD Securities in New York. "However, the ultimate test of the sustainability of the recovery is for the economy to create a sufficient number of jobs to sustain a consumer-led rebound in activity."
A Conservative pundit, George Will, commenting on Newt Gingrich: "Now you can associate many things with Mr. Gingrich, but wisdom isn’t one of them."
The Bomb Buried In Obamacare Explodes Today [12/02/2011]-Hallelujah!
Andrew Sullivan commenting on the Rabid Right's overestimating Mr. Gingrich and underestimating President Obama:
"Of course, when you actually imagine a Gingrich-Obama debate, and you are not living in a cocoon that insists that Obama is both dumb and a commie, you see how fatal a trap this could be for the GOP.
It's not just that Obama is a smart person whereas Gingrich is simply a dumb person's idea of a smart person. It's that Obama has always excelled up against a volatile, angry opponent. He is a master of allowing them to self-destruct. He got that Houdini-like master of political survival, Bill Clinton, to blow up in the primaries. In a matter of days, he got McCain to destroy his bid with his frantic response to the Lehman collapse.
I mean: who's gonna seem like the angry guy in a Newt-Barack match? Who's gonna seem like the old, rather than mature, one? Even when Gingrich was Speaker, he couldn't muster any grace or authority or calm: things we like in a crisis and a president.
I can't believe the GOP is going to fall for this yet another time. But their loathing of Obama seems to trump all reason, prudence, or guile. Once again, the jujitsu Obama model of politics emerges as his strongest weapon. Given the economy, it may not be enough. But man, does Obama get lucky sometimes in his opponents."
And kudos to Minnesota and its Democratic governor, Mark Dayton, for plodding along in this difficult economic time and getting things done.
Christmas has come early in Minnesota.
After an intense battle over government spending shut down its government for 20 days this summer, the state now is forecasting an $876 million surplus over the next two years. That’s a huge surprise compared to the $5 billion projected deficit that Minnesota expected in July, setting off a national, highly-partisan battle over the best way to close that gap.
What changed? State officials chalk a lot of the good news up to factors specific to Minnesota. The state has seen its revenue increase as its unemployment rate is lower than the national average. The state has, for example, regained about a third of the jobs lost since the recession began. Nationally, that number stands at 22 percent.
Minnesota has also cut its spending, particularly on health care, in unique ways. It’s one of just four states, for example, to expand its Medicaid program in advance of the health reform law’s required expansion. For doing so, it’s received a higher Medicaid matching rate for some patients from the federal government.