Sunday, December 04, 2011

Unemployment Drop to 8.6% is Wow

Unemployment is down to 8.6%. As TIME’s Stephen Gandel writes:
The unemployment rate in November dropped faster than it has in more than 11 years. You have to go back to September 2000 to get a quicker decline. What's more, the jobless percentage, which fell to 8.6% in November from 9.0% a month before, was the lowest it's been in two and a half years.
The big unemployment drop, of course, is soft, based as it is on a drop in those searching for work (they have instead given up), and an early Thanksgiving that pushed 2011 Christmas hiring gains into November. Still, any large drop in unemployment is good news. Especially for Obama. Conservative Don Surber at the Charleston Daily Mail says the 8.6% rate is “a godsend for the president” and only half-jokingly adds the number should send Obama’s approval rate above 50% (it’s currently at 43%).

And at the same time, stocks ended a “stellar week,” with Dow up 7%, its biggest weekly gain since July 2009, the S&P 500 up 7.4%, its best weekly performance since March 2009, and the Nasdaq up 7.6%, its second-best weekly rise this year. Our FOX Index with a Dow at 12,019, an S&P of 1,244, and a NASDAQ at 2,627 has at a total of 15,890. The Index arrived back in “healthy” territory (a Dow of 12,000, an S&P of 1,300 and a NASDAQ of 2,500—total 15,800) at plus 90 (see chart), after mostly being in an “unhealthy” range since July.

Here below our look at how, with 10 months left, Obama is doing measured against his two most important employment targets: the unemployment rate and total number of jobs when he took over in January 2009:

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