Unemployment fell to 7.7 percent in November as the US economy added a net 146,000 jobs. All of the job growth was in the private sector, as government cut a net 1,000 jobs, led by a loss of another 50,000 jobs in local education. Priorities!

Much of the two-tenths drop in the unemployment rate comes from a contraction of the labor force. Also, self-employment jumped by 163,000 in November. I suppose you could view the self-employment numbers cynically, but it might also be viewed as a sign of entrepreneurial optimism.

Economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic Policy Research summarizes the monthly data:

On the whole the data in the November report show pretty much the same picture as what we have been seeing over the last six months. The economy is creating jobs at a rate that is a bit faster than what is needed to keep pace with the growth of the labor market. At the current pace, we would not see the economy returning to full employment for another decade. Furthermore, there are more downside risks than upside, for example if there were to be severe deficit reduction as a result of the current negotiations between President Obama and Congress.

I sure hope the Obama recovery isn't blown up by the terrorists in Congress.