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The November Jobs Report: What is the Current US Employment Situation?

Posted: December 06, 2019

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their monthly look at the US employment situation and the data for November looks encouraging. The labor department jobs report examines a range of US jobs data to gauge the overall health of the US economy, specifically the number of jobs added, the unemployment rate, and what industries are hiring now.

Before we get to the November’s jobs report, let’s revisit October’s US job numbers. Last month, the BLS reported that nonfarm payroll employment increased by 128,000 jobs. The unemployment rate rose very slightly to 3.6% (approximately 5.9 million professionals). A deeper look at the US jobs data and industries hiring in 2019 showed moderate growth in a few areas while others declined or registered no change at all.

  • Food services and drinking places – 48,000 jobs added
  • Professional and business services – 22,000 jobs added
  • Social assistance – 20,000 jobs added
  • Financial activities – 16,000 jobs added
  • Healthcare – 15,000 jobs added
  • Manufacturing – 36,000 jobs lost
  • Construction, wholesale trade, information, and leisure and hospitality – no change

The November jobs report showed total nonfarm payroll employment jumping by 266,000, unemployment decreasing very slightly to 3.5%, and the number of unemployed persons dipping to 5.8 million. Here are some other highlights of the labor department jobs report:

  • The number of long-term unemployed dropped slightly to 1.2 million and accounts for 20.8 percent of the unemployed.
  • The labor force participation rate held steady at 63.2 percent.
  • The number of people employed part time for economic reasons (AKA involuntary part-time workers) essentially stayed the same at 4.3 million.
  • Average hourly earnings for all employees on nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents to $28.29 after increasing by 6 cents in October. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.1 percent.

November saw promising growth for a few industries hiring in 2019. After a significant decline last month, manufacturing led the way with 54,000 jobs added in November. Health care added 45,000 jobs, leisure and hospitality continued an upward trend with 45,000 new jobs, professional and technical services increased by 31,000 jobs, and transportation and warehousing added 16,000 jobs in November. Mining employment declined by 7,000 in November. Key industries like construction, wholesale trade, information, and government saw no change.

Overall, the labor department jobs report suggests the economy is in good shape. Whether you’re looking for top talent or searching for your dream job, there’s still plenty of opportunity out there, and you can find it on iHire.

 

For more information on how the BLS tracks and updates US job numbers and calculates the unemployment rate, check out this informative post on FiveThirtyEight.

Posted by: Freddie Rohner
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