Online Staff Report
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 321,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Dec. 5. The increase in jobs is the largest single-month gain in nearly three years.
Job gains were widespread, led by growth in professional and business services, retail trade, health care, and manufacturing.
Household survey data
In November, the unemployment rate held at 5.8 percent, and the number of unemployed people was little changed at 9.1 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed people were down by 1.2 percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men rose to 5.4 percent in November. The rates for adult women (5.3 percent), teenagers (17.7 percent), whites (4.9 percent), blacks (11.1 percent), and Hispanics (6.6 percent) showed little change over the month. The jobless rate for Asians was 4.8 percent, little changed from a year earlier.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 2.8 million in November. These individuals accounted for 30.7 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed declined by 1.2 million.
The civilian labor force participation rate held at 62.8 percent in November and has been essentially unchanged since April. The employment-population ratio, at 59.2 percent, was unchanged in November, but is up by 0.6 percentage point over the year.
The number of people employed part-time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers), at 6.9 million, changed little in November. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part-time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
In November, 2.1 million people were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey.
Among the marginally attached, there were 698,000 discouraged workers in November, little different from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are people not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million people marginally attached to the labor force in November had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
Establishment survey data
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 321,000 in November, compared with an average monthly gain of 224,000 over the prior 12 months. In November, job growth was widespread, led by gains in professional and business services, retail trade, health care, and manufacturing.
Employment in professional and business services increased by 86,000 in November, compared with an average gain of 57,000 per month over the prior 12 months. Within the industry, accounting and bookkeeping services added 16,000 jobs in November. Employment continued to trend up in temporary help services (plus 23,000), management and technical consulting services (plus 7,000), computer systems design and related services (plus 7,000), and architectural and engineering services (plus 5,000).
Employment in retail trade rose by 50,000 in November, compared with an average gain of 22,000 per month over the prior 12 months. In November, job gains occurred in motor vehicle and parts dealers (plus 11,000); clothing and accessories stores (plus 11,000); sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (plus 9,000); and nonstore retailers (plus 6,000).
Health care added 29,000 jobs over the month. Employment continued to trend up in offices of physicians (plus 7,000), home health care services (plus 5,000), outpatient care centers (plus 4,000), and hospitals (plus 4,000). Over the past 12 months, employment in health care has increased by 261,000.
In November, manufacturing added 28,000 jobs. Durable goods manufacturers accounted for 17,000 of the increase, with small gains in most of the component industries. Employment in nondurable goods increased by 11,000, with plastics and rubber products (plus 7,000) accounting for most of the gain. Over the year, manufacturing has added 171,000 jobs, largely in durable goods.
Financial activities added 20,000 jobs in November, with half of the gain in insurance carriers and related activities. Over the past year, insurance has contributed 70,000 jobs to the overall employment gain of 114,000 in financial activities.
Transportation and warehousing employment increased by 17,000 in November, with a gain in couriers and messengers (plus 5,000). Over the past 12 months, transportation and warehousing has added 143,000 jobs. Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up in November (plus 27,000), and has increased by 321,000 over the year.
Construction employment also continued to trend up in November (plus 20,000). Employment in specialty trade contractors rose by 21,000, mostly in the residential component. Over the past 12 months, construction has added 213,000 jobs, with just more than half the gain among specialty trade contractors.
In November, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 0.1 hour to 34.6 hours. The manufacturing workweek rose by 0.2 hour to 41.1 hours, and factory overtime edged up by 0.1 hour to 3.5 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.8 hours.
Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 9 cents to $24.66 in November. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.1 percent. In November, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $20.74.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised from plus 256,000 to plus 271,000, and the change for October was revised from plus 214,000 to plus 243,000. With these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 44,000 more than previously reported.
Posted Dec. 5, 2014