Tracy Bagatelle-Black, 44, an account manager from Santa Clarita, Calif., didn’t mince words when asked what she’s grateful for this year. “I’m most thankful that I have a full-time job,” she says. “I have so many friends that are out of work, and a few that can’t find enough work. Two of my friends don’t even have cars this holiday season.”
Bagatelle-Black’s story isn’t uncommon as many families continue to struggle, but despite the still-dismal jobs situation in America, there have been modest improvements in job growth recently. The October jobs report showed that unemployment is down to 9% from 9.1%, the first drop in the rate since July. The Labor Department also reported that the economy added 80,000 new jobs in October, and an average of 130,000 jobs per month in the third quarter, up from 97,000 in the second quarter.
While employers will need to significantly step up hiring for the unemployment rate to continue to fall, the October numbers are at least a step in the right direction – and that’s definitely something to be thankful for.