US jobless rate falls to 8.5% in Dec'11

US jobless rate falls to 8.5% in Dec'11
The jobless rate in the world's largest economy, the US, fell to its lowest level in nearly three years in December 2011 as hiring in the private sector picked up, a sign of an improvement in the country's labour market, said a report by the Labour Department on Friday.

The US economy added 2,00,000 jobs in December 2011, up from 1,00,000 gained in November 2011.

The jobless rate fell to 8.5 per cent in December 2011 from 8.6 per cent in November 2011.

Employment in the private sector rose by 2,12,000 in December 2011, compared to the previous month. An improvement in the US economic outlook in the recent months is supporting hiring in the country's private sector.

Manufacturing activity in the US expanded at the fastest pace in six months in December 2011, while consumer confidence also rose to a six month high in December 2011.

US companies are expanding output and hiring fresh staff amid a pickup in domestic demand.

While the retail sector added 28,000 jobs in December 2011, the manufacturing sector added 23,000 jobs in the month.

Average hourly earnings for private sector employees rose by 0.2 per cent in December 2011, compared to the previous month.

A pickup in the US job market may lead to an acceleration in the pace of consumer spending, which accounts for over 70 per cent of the nation's economy.

The latest data adds to optimism that economic recovery in the US is picking up and the economy is weathering the lingering debt contagion in Europe.

Dion Global Solutions Ltd

Read more about: employment, economy, debt, europe, united states
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