Unemployment Rate Drops To 4.6 Percent, A 9-Year Low

Unemployment Rate Drops To 4.6 Percent, A 9-Year LowThe Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added a healthy 178,000 jobs in November, roughly in line with forecasts. Economists surveyed by Reuters had predicted 175,000 new nonfarm jobs; those surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast 180,000. The gains, an improvement over October, nudged the unemployment rate down to 4.6 percent, a nine-year low, as some Americans left the workforce. Consumer spending, inflation, the housing market, and manufacturing have improved recently, too. Together, the brightening data was seen as cementing the likelihood that the Federal Reserve would be able to resume its plan to push interest rates higher. “The economy is in good shape,” said Jack McIntyre, portfolio manager at Brandywine Global in Philadelphia. “The Fed has the green light to raise interest rates this month, and most likely they are going to raise a couple of times next year.”