The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 10 per cent in November from 10.2 per cent the previous month.
The economy shed 11,000 jobs, the smallest number of job losses since the recession began.
It is an improvement from October’s revised total of 111,000 job losses, and also much better than the 130,000 Wall Street economists expected.
But the respite may be temporary, as many economists expect the jobless rate to keep climbing into next year as the American economy struggles to generate enough jobs for the 15.4 million people out of work.
If part-time workers who want full time jobs and laid off workers who have given up looking for work are included, the so-called underemployment rate also fell, to 17.2 per cent from 17.5 per cent in October.