Posted by: Marvin Remmich | January 6, 2012

Unemployment Rate Falls to 8.5%

The nation’s unemployment rate continues to trend down. It slipped to 8.5 percent during the month of December as the economy added 200,000 new jobs, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday morning.

The reported rate is down from 8.6 percent in November. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised downward from +120,000 to +100,000. October’s data was revised upward from +100,000 to +112,000.

December marks the sixth consecutive month of 100,000-plus job gains and the first such stretch employers have been able to string together since 2006.

The unemployment rate has declined by 0.6 percentage point since August, according to the Labor Department.

Over the 2011 calendar year, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.6 million.

Employment in the private sector rose by 212,000 in December and by 1.9 million over the year. Government employment changed little over the month but fell by 280,000 over the year.

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