(CBS) — Four years. That’s how long it’s been since the unemployment rate has been this low.

Employers hired 146,000 workers last month, nearly twice as many as analysts expected, dropping the jobless rate to 7.7 percent.

CBS 2’s Chris Martinez reports.

He’s newly unemployed, but Devieon Layles doesn’t believe he’ll stay that way long. At the Garfield Workforce Center, his three-week job search continued.

“If you just put your mind to it, you can do it,” he says. “I’m determined. That’s one thing it says on my resume.”

Making that resume better is part of what goes on at the training ground for job-seekers.

And staffing specialist Ahmad Sanders says it is paying off. He is seeing more workers getting hired more often, dismissing some critics who believe the national numbers look better because people are dropping out of the labor force altogether.

“If people take the initiative to use these programs for assistance, I believe the unemployment rate will get better,” he says.

Valisa Benson says she’s proof of that. After seven months of unemployment, Friday marked her first full week at work.

“I feel accomplished,” she says.

Her new job is at the very workforce center that helped her get back on her feet.

“Keep hope alive, and believe – have faith,” she says.

The retail, education and healthcare industries all added jobs in November. Still, most analysts call last month’s increase modest at best. Twelve million Americans are still looking for work.