WASHINGTON (AFP) - The troubled US labor market saw a dramatic improvement in November as the number of jobs lost narrowed to 11,000 and the unemployment rate dipped to 10.0 percent, official data showed Friday. The Labor Department jobs figures showed a massive improvement from October and earlier months and suggested the US economy was nearing job growth needed to sustain a fragile recovery from recession This is another signpost that the recession is over, even if a vigorous recovery is not yet assured, said Avery Shenfeld, economist at CIBC World Markets. Were still quite a way from the 150,000 jobs a month and above to consistently bring the unemployment rate down. But I think we will start to see some positive net hiring in the first quarter and that will serve as a buttress against a drop back into recession. The Labor Department revised its data from the prior two months to show fewer job loses than earlier estimated 111,000 losses in October instead of 190,000 and 139,000 in September instead of 219,000. The report was far better than analyst expectations for a loss of 125,000 jobs and a jobless rate unchanged from October at 10.2 percent. This report, despite its unevenness, will likely create some real euphoria in the investor community, said Joel Naroff at Naroff Economic Advisors. It is the first time we can start thinking that the job situation may be turning around with some gusto. The report showed the goods-producing sectors lost 69,000 jobs including 41,000 in manufacturing and 27,000 in construction. But services which represents the largest number of jobs saw growth of 58,000 jobs. Within services, retail trade lost 15,000 jobs but professional and business services added a hefty 86,000 while education and health services saw an increase of 40,000. Weekly hours worked, sometimes seen as a proxy for economic activity, increased by 0.6 percent, while average hourly earnings rose 0.1 percent. Sophia Koropeckyj at Moodys Economy.com said the increase in hours worked is a good cyclical indicator. It is expected that employers will first extend hours before taking on new workers. This is a good first step, she said. Offsetting some of the positive figures, the report showed the labor force fell by 98,000 with so-called discouraged workers stopping their search for work, a factor that lowers the unemployment rate. The employment picture remained weak in economically critical sectors such as retailing, manufacturing and construction, some noted. Where we saw gains was in temporary workers, education and health care, Naroff said. While the small drop in employment is good news, it is not clear that we are poised to see any major increase in payrolls anytime soon.