The unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent in November, the lowest in four years, as the U.S. economy generated a stronger-than-expected 146,000 jobs, the Labor Department said Friday.
The Labor Department added that Superstorm Sandy, which many had expected to dampen job creation, did not have a substantial impact on the national data.
"It looks like the job market is holding firm," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics. "That's encouraging in light of all the fiscal uncertainties."
Economists had expected non-farm payrolls to rise about 93,000 and the jobless rate to hold steady at 7.9 percent.