Today's jobs report beat expectations, with 203,000 new jobs added in November and the unemployment rate sliding to 7.0%. Economists had expected 180,000 new jobs and an unemployment rate of 7.2%, down from October's 7.3%, the Wall Street Journal reports. The unemployment rate is at a five-year low, the AP reports, calling it "an encouraging sign for the economy." October's new jobs number was revised upward to 200,000.
The labor force participation rate rose to 63% from 62.8%—and since the unemployment rate went down despite that rise, plus the solid number of new jobs and an upward revision for jobs in both September and October, Michael J. Casey at the Journal thinks the report "is good enough for the Fed to start tapering at its Dec. 17-18 meeting." Or maybe not: Steven Russolillo points out that inflation, "the second part of the Fed's dual mandate," is "still crazy low on almost every measure." (Read more jobs report stories.)