The U.S. economy received a boost of good news Friday, after the U.S. Labor Department said the national unemployment rate dropped last month to the lowest level in more than two years.
U.S. stocks rose in early trading Friday, after government statistics showed the jobless rate for November was 8.6 percent, a drop of four-tenths of a percent from the prior month.
The figures also show that the U.S. economy had a net gain of 120,000 jobs.
U.S. House speaker John Boehner said any job creation is welcome news, but that the unemployment rate still remains “unacceptably high.”
A closer look at the data shows a mixed picture of the job market — part of the improvement comes from hiring by private companies, while some of it is because several hundred thousand people gave up their search for work. The unemployment rate only considers people who are actively seeking jobs.
The Labor Department notes an increase in jobs in retail, restaurants and bars, professional and business services, and health care. It says government employment continued to shrink, with job losses in state and local governments.