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US Employment Situation

William J. Wiatrowski, Acting Commissioner, Bureau of Labor Statistics

December 7, 2018 - "Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 155,000 in November, and the unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent. Job gains occurred in health care, in manufacturing, and in transportation and warehousing.

"Incorporating revisions for September and October, which decreased nonfarm payroll employment by 12,000 on net, monthly job gains have averaged 170,000 over the past 3 months.

"Health care employment grew by 32,000 over the month and has expanded by 328,000 over the year. Within the industry, ambulatory health care services (+19,000) and hospitals (+13,000) added jobs in November.

"Manufacturing employment rose by 27,000 in November, with job gains in chemicals (+6,000) and primary metals (+3,000). Over the past 12 months, manufacturing has added 288,000 jobs.

"Employment in transportation and warehousing increased by 25,000 over the month and was up by 192,000 over the year. In November, job growth occurred in couriers and messengers (+10,000) and in warehousing and storage (+6,000). These two industries accounted for about two-thirds of the employment growth in transportation and warehousing over the past year.

"Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in November (+32,000). Over the past 12 months, this industry has added 561,000 jobs.

"Retail trade employment changed little in November (+18,000). Employment in general merchandise stores--which includes department stores, warehouse clubs, and supercenters-- rose by 39,000 over the month. Miscellaneous store retailers also added jobs (+10,000). These gains were partially offset, however, by job losses in clothing and clothing accessories stores (-14,000); electronics and appliance stores (-11,000); and sporting goods, hobby, and book stores (-11,000).

"Employment in other major industries--including mining, construction, wholesale trade, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government--showed little change over the month.

"Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 6 cents in November to $27.35. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have grown by 3.1 percent. From October 2017 to October 2018, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 2.5 percent (on a seasonally adjusted basis).

"Turning to measures from the household survey, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent in November, and the number of unemployed people, at 6.0 million, changed little. Over the year, the jobless rate was down by 0.4 percentage point, and the number of unemployed fell by 641,000.

"In November, the number of unemployed who had been searching for work for 27 weeks or longer declined by 120,000 to 1.3 million. These long-term unemployed accounted for 20.8 percent of the total unemployed.

"Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.9 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.6 percent, were unchanged over the month. Over the year, the labor force participation rate has shown little change, while the employment-population ratio was up by 0.5 percentage point.

"In November, 4.8 million people were working part time for economic reasons (also referred to as involuntary part-time workers), little changed from the previous month.

"Among those neither working nor looking for work in November, 1.7 million were considered marginally attached to the labor force, up by 197,000 from a year earlier. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed no jobs were available for them, numbered 453,000 in November, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (People who are marginally attached to the labor force had not looked for work in the 4 weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were available to work, and had looked for a job within the last 12 months.)

"In summary, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 155,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent for the third month in a row."

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor


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