The November jobs report is out, and the unemployment rate has dropped from from 9% to 8.6%. That's the lowest rate since March 2009.
As is always the case, there was a significant gap between the private and public sectors. Businesses added 140,000 jobs last month, while budget cuts forced the public sector to shed 20,000 jobs, which continues to be a major drag on the overall employment picture.
Republican policymakers, it's worth noting, are eager to force more public-sector layoffs, making the jobs landscape worse on purpose, while Democrats have fought to do the opposite.
With a month remaining in 2011, we've now seen 1.45 million jobs created this year, which isn't even close to good enough, but which is the strongest year for job creation since 2006. A total of 661,000 jobs have been created since July.
But somebody somewhere isn't happy about this. Nor are they happy that Black Friday and Cyber Monday revealed greater consumer confidence than in the past few years (confidence that caused the Dow to jump to over 12,000 for the first time in many many months).
Who's unhappy? Republican pols hoping to take back the White House solely on bad economic news.