The latest jobs report released by the Federal government heralded a hurrah - the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in over two years, but it came with a hidden surprise, kind of like finding a bug in your sandwich.
The surprise was that the numbers alone weren't telling the full story. According to the report, the unemployment rate fell due to people finding work; and also to people who stopped looking for work or retired.
That last part is important - if the country had the same ratio of workers (# of jobs to people looking for work) as we did in early 2009, the unemployment rate would be closer to 11% instead of 8.6%. Fewer people looking for work makes for a lower unemployment rate. The worry is the sustainability of this drop in unemployment. The growth in hiring comes on the back of private businesses gearing up for the holiday season and only time will tell if those hires are only seasonal, or will turn into something more perpetual. Either way, recovery is still a long, painful road for the country with a huge 13 million people still out of work.
Lead Jobs report at CNN.com