Today's jobs report brings good cheer to the holiday season: The unemployment rate has dropped to 8.6%, the lowest it has been since March 2009, the AP reports. The rate had been expected to hold steady at 9%, the Wall Street Journal adds. The economy added 120,000 jobs in November, when 125,000 had been expected, and October's original number of 80,000 new jobs was adjusted upward to 100,000. September was also revised up by 52,000 jobs—the fourth straight month the government revised prior months higher.
The WSJ concludes that there is "no shortage of good news here for those out there looking for it." Even so, the AP notes that one contributing factor to the lower unemployment rate is the 315,000 people who stopped looking for work and are no longer counted as unemployed. Some 13.3 million Americans remain jobless.