The nation’s unemployment rate plummeted dramatically to 8.6 percent last month, after hovering around 9 percent for much of the year, as the pace of job growth quickened, the Labor Department reported Friday morning.

 

Private businesses created another 140,000 jobs in November. And although that was offset a little by job losses of 20,000 in the U.S. Postal Service and other government agencies, it follows a revised gain of 210,000 jobs in October that was significantly larger than the 158,000 originally reported.

 

Economist Jerry Jasinowski called the lowest unemployment rate since March 2009 “icing on the cake after a week of good news” on the economy, which included signs of healthy growth in manufacturing, strong early holiday sales and a big rally in the stock market.

“None of this indicates we are out of the woods by any means,” he said. “But in the overall scheme of things, there’s nothing like a good solid dose of economic growth to reduce deficits, create jobs and foster holiday cheer.”


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