The US unemployment rate fell in November to a nearly four-year low as the labor force shrank from October, the US Labor Department said Friday.
The jobless rate dropped to 7.7 percent, its lowest level since December 2008, from 7.9 percent in October, the department said.
The US economy added 146,000 jobs, compared with a downwardly revised October reading of 138,000.
The November numbers surprised analysts, who on average had forecast the jobless rate would rise to 8.0 percent and that 90,000 net jobs were created.
Superstorm Sandy, which pummelled the northeastern coast in late October and early November, shutting down New York and other major cities, "did not substantively impact" the data, the department said.