The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent, with 120,000 new jobs added in November, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report released today.

The report also indicates that “the number of unemployed persons, at 13.3 million, was down by 594,000 in November.”

For the National Employment Law Project, “this level of job creation is no match for the dire employment situation in the country.”

“The private-sector growth of 140,000 jobs and continued losses in the public sector mean we are still a long ways off from rebuilding a battered economy and restoring opportunity for Americans,” said National Employment Law Project Executive Director Christine Owens. “Distressingly, 315,000 people dropped out of the labor force last month, reflecting continued worker discouragement.”

The Labor Statistics report adds that among “the major worker groups” the unemployment rate for adult men was 8.3 percent and 7.8 percent for adult women in November.

The jobless rate for whites declined to 7.6 percent, while it was 23.7 percent for teenagers, 15.5 percent for blacks, 11.4 percent for Hispanics and  6.5 percent for Asians (not seasonally adjusted).

The report adds that employment continued to trend up in retail trade, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and health care, while government employment continued to drop.

Florida job growth in 2011 has been highly concentrated in leisure and hospitality, specifically accommodation and food services and health care.

According to the Employment Law Project, “job growth since the official end of the recession has been heavily concentrated in lower-wage sectors like retail and food services and drinking places, which together accounted for about two-thirds of jobs gains last month as we entered the holiday season.”

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s latest jobs report indicates that the state’s unemployment rate fell to 10.3 percent in the month of October, a 0.3 precent drop compared with September. The state added 9,500 jobs in October; 7,900 of those jobs were added in the administrative and waste services sector, which is part of the professional and business services sector that added almost 11,000 jobs.

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