Washington, DC…Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 146,000 in November, and the unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in retail trade, professional and business services, and health care. |Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the Northeast coast on October 29th, causing severe damage in some states. Nevertheless, our survey response rates in the affected states were within normal ranges. Our analysis suggests that Hurricane Sandy did not substantively impact the national employment and unemployment estimates for November…
Household Survey Data
The unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent in November. The number of unemployed
persons, at 12.0 million, changed little.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.2 percent), adult
women (7.0 percent), teenagers (23.5 percent), whites (6.8 percent), and Hispanics (10.0
percent) showed little or no change in November. The unemployment rate for blacks (13.2
percent) declined over the month. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.4 percent (not
seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little
changed at 4.8 million in November. These individuals accounted for 40.1 percent of
The civilian labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 63.6 percent
in November, offsetting an increase of the same amount in October. Total employment was
about unchanged in November, following a combined increase of 1.3 million over the prior
2 months. The employment-population ratio, at 58.7 percent, changed little
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as
involuntary part-time workers), at 8.2 million in November, was little changed over the
month. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or
because they were unable to find a full-time job.
In November, 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially
unchanged from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) 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 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Among the marginally attached, there were 979,000 discouraged workers in November, little
changed from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers
are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for
them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in November
had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school
attendance or family responsibilities.
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 146,000 in November. Since the beginning
of this year, employment growth has averaged 151,000 per month, about the same as the
average monthly job gain of 153,000 in 2011. In November, employment rose in retail
trade, professional and business services, and health care.
Retail trade employment rose by 53,000 in November and has increased by 140,000 over the
past 3 months. Over the month, job gains occurred in clothing and clothing accessory stores
(+33,000), in general merchandise stores (+10,000), and in electronics and appliance stores
(+9,000). Employment in miscellaneous store retailers decreased by 13,000.
In November, employment in professional and business services rose by 43,000. Employment
continued to increase in computer systems design and related services.
Health care employment continued to increase in November (+20,000), with gains in hospitals
(+8,000) and in nursing care facilities (+5,000). Health care has added an average of 26,000
jobs per month this year.
Employment in wholesale trade edged up over the month (+13,000). Since reaching an employment
trough in May 2010, the industry has added 228,000 jobs.
Information employment also edged up in November (+12,000), with the increase concentrated
in motion picture and sound recording (+15,000). On net, information employment has changed
little over the past 12 months.
In November, leisure and hospitality employment continued to trend up (+23,000). Over the
past 12 months, the industry has added 305,000 jobs.
Employment in construction declined by 20,000 in November, with much of the loss occurring
in construction of buildings (-11,000). Since early 2010, employment in construction has
shown no clear trend.
Manufacturing employment changed little over the month. Within the industry, job losses
in food manufacturing (-12,000) and chemicals (-9,000) more than offset gains in motor
vehicles and parts (+10,000) and wood products (+3,000). On net, manufacturing employment
has changed little since this past spring.
Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, transportation and
warehousing, financial activities, and government, showed little change in November.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls remained at 34.4
hours in November. The manufacturing workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 40.6 hours, and
factory overtime was unchanged at 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production and
nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours.
In November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose
by 4 cents to $23.63. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by
1.7 percent. In November, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and
nonsupervisory employees edged up by 3 cents to $19.84.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised from +148,000
to +132,000, and the change for October was revised from +171,000 to +138,000.