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Government report releases lowest unemployment in five years


The nation's unemployment is at its lowest level in the past 5 years. But the government report doesn't bring all good news for lower paid workers. ABC's Wendy Gillette explains what the numbers mean.

Stocks shot up at the opening bell after the labor department released its monthly jobs report. It shows the unemployment rate dropped three tenths to seven percent - the lowest it's been in five years.

"Employers added more than 200,000 jobs in November. Better than what economists had expected. Almost a quarter of them were in high paying industries like construction and manufacturing," said Jay Carney, White House Spokesman.

The September and October numbers were also revised to show more growth. Although stock markets reacted favorably- analysts believe there could be some down days ahead if the federal reserve tapers its economic stimulus program when it meets later this month.

"The FED stimulus has been great for stocks and the belief is that when the fed backs away from that it will deflate stocks," said Rick Newman of Yahoo Finance.

The report wasn't all rosy, it shows hourly earnings went up just four cents and only two percent over the last year.

On Thursday-  fast food workers held protests around the country over the minimum wage saying they're grossly underpaid and that wages of $15 an hour are more appropriate.

"The official U.S. poverty line is about $16,000. If you are a worker at minimum wage and you work full time and most of these workers can't even get full time hours you only make $15,000 a year. So you are still below the poverty level even if you work full time," said Professor Dorian Warren of Columbia University.

Although some of the new jobs are in lower earning categories like hospitality and retail - this is the fourth straight month of substantial hiring in the possible sign the economy is truly recovering.