Unemployment in the United States has fallen to its lowest level for two-and-a-half years according to the latest official statistics.
120,000 people found jobs outside agriculture in November giving hope that the US economy was gaining further momentum.
The gains were seen across the board, with retail taking on nearly 50,000 extra staff but health care and factories recruiting workers as well.
Government and construction shed jobs.
The unemployment rate in the United States had stubbornly refused to budge from around the nine per cent mark.
November’s figure of 8.6 per cent is the lowest since March 2009.
It will be welcome news for President Obama – the jobless total has been a constant target for his critics.
Though the numbers are positive they are unlikely to ease the pressure on Obama over his economic stewardship which will be tested by the voters next November.
Some analysts believe the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, should ease monetary policy still further despite the fall in unemployment.
They point out that although technically the US emerged from recession two years ago its economic advance is still painfully slow.