NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nonfarm employment increased by 146,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, defying expectations of a sharp pull back related to superstorm Sandy.
However, job gains for both September and October were revised to show 49,000 fewer jobs created in those months than earlier reported.
The jobless rate fell to 7.7 percent last month, the lowest since December 2008. But the drop was because people gave up the search for work, which does not bode well for the economy
RUSSELL PRICE, SENIOR ECONOMIST, AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL, TROY, MICHIGAN
"Initial claims are settling back into their pre-Sandy levels. So the negative impact from the spike that we experienced after hurricane Sandy is abating.
"It's a little bit too early (to forecast December) but it does give us a positive trend that claims have now fallen for four straight weeks and it's a positive indicator that the labor market is remaining fairly solid although certainly not robust by any means."
STOCKS: U.S. stock index futures turn positive
BONDS: U.S. bond prices down
FOREX: The dollar gains versus euro
(Americas Economics and Markets Desk; +1-646 223-6300)
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