National jobs market grows, unemployment trends lowest since 2008

It's been a long four years since the economic collapse of 2008, which threw not just the United States but the entire globe into a spiraling recession that claimed millions of jobs. But as 2012 comes to a close, more indicators suggest the U.S. economy is certainly back on the mend and is recovering at an encouraging pace. One of those indicators is the national jobs market, which showed strong November gains and the lowest unemployment percentage in four years.

According to the latest data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLR), the country added 146,000 total non-farm payroll positions during November. The unemployment rate also ticked down to 7.7 percent, its lowest level since 2008, continuing a downward trend that was started when the October unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent, the first time it had been less than 8 percent since 2009.

Overall, the greatest gains in jobs occurred in the retail trade, professional and business services and healthcare. With job growth holding steady, recruiting agencies will become a major aid to employers looking to fill newly created positions with quality talent.

Sandy didn't skew numbers
As previously reported by CNNMoney, economists that the news outlet surveyed said the total jobs added for November could have been skewed downward as much as 77,000 total because of the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Sandy.

However, the BLS said despite the severe damage in mostly East Coast states, the survey response rates in states hit by the storm were not abnormal and the data was not as substantively impacted as some may have forecasted.

Gains and losses in manufacturing
The November jobs report was a mixed bags of sorts for the manufacturing industry. Food manufacturing lost 12,000 jobs and employment in the chemicals sector was down 9,000. However, motor vehicles and parts manufacturing gained 10,000 jobs. Wood products also did well, with gains that totaled a rise of 3,000 positions, meaning technical recruiters will be busy finding experienced talent.

As mentioned, a few sectors saw the most notable growth in jobs. Retail trade employment increased by 53,000 during November, adding to the total 140,000 new jobs created in the past three months for retail. Professional and business services rose by 43,000 and healthcare added 20,000 jobs, with hospitals (8,000) and nursing care facilities (5,000) driving jobs growth.