Obama partisans are hailing the “surprising” fall in unemployment as a sign that a recovery is showing strength. But the official metric for unemployment, U-3, counts only people actively looking for jobs, and that is the figure which has declined to 7.7%. Neil Irwin in the Washington Post explains:
The jobless rate dropped in large part because the labor force fell by 350,000, suggesting that people gave up looking for work. The number of people saying they had a job actually fell by 122,000. And the Labor Department revised downward its estimates of job creation in September and October by a combined 49,000.