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US Employment Situation

William W. Beach, Commissioner, Bureau of Labor Statistics

December 2 2022 - "Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 263,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent. Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, health care, and government. Employment declined in retail trade and in transportation and warehousing.

"The November gain in nonfarm payroll employment was roughly in line with average growth over the prior 3 months (+282,000). Monthly job growth thus far in 2022 has averaged 392,000, compared with 562,000 per month in 2021.

Leisure and hospitality continued to add jobs in November (+88,000), with most of the gain occurring in food services and drinking places (+62,000). Employment in leisure and hospitality has grown by an average of 82,000 per month thus far in 2022, less than half of the 2021 average monthly increase of 196,000. Leisure and hospitality employment is down by 980,000, or 5.8 percent, from its pre-pandemic February 2020 level.

In November, health care continued to add jobs (+45,000), with gains in ambulatory health care services (+23,000), hospitals (+11,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+10,000). So far in 2022, health care employment has increased by an average of 47,000 per month, well above the average monthly gain of 9,000 in 2021.

Government employment grew by 42,000 in November, mostly in local government (+32,000). Government employment is down by 461,000, or 2.0 percent, since February 2020.

The other services industry added 24,000 jobs in November, with a gain in personal and laundry services (+11,000). Other services employment has increased by an average of 15,000 per month so far this year, compared with 24,000 per month in 2021. Employment in other services is below its February 2020 level by 186,000, or 3.1 percent.

In November, employment in social assistance rose by 23,000, returning to its February 2020 level. Within the industry, individual and family services added 17,000 jobs over the month. Employment in social assistance has increased by an average of 18,000 per month so far this year, compared with the 2021 average of 13,000 per month.

Construction employment continued to trend up in November (+20,000). Within the industry, nonresidential building added 8,000 jobs. Construction has added an average of 19,000 jobs per month thus far this year, little different from an average of 16,000 per month in 2021.

Information employment rose by 19,000 in November. Employment in information has increased by an average of 14,000 per month thus far this year, in line with an average of 16,000 per month in 2021.

Manufacturing employment continued to trend up in November (+14,000). Employment has increased by an average of 34,000 per month thus far this year, little different from an average of 30,000 per month in 2021.

Employment in financial activities continued its upward trend in November (+14,000). Job gains occurred in real estate and rental and leasing (+13,000) and in securities, commodity contracts, and investments (+6,000), while employment fell in credit intermediation and related activities (-9,000). Employment in financial activities has increased by an average of 12,000 per month thus far this year, the same as in 2021.

Retail trade employment fell by 30,000 in November. Job losses occurred in general merchandise stores (-32,000), electronics and appliance stores (-4,000), and furniture and home furnishings stores (-3,000). Motor vehicle and parts dealers added 10,000 jobs. Retail trade employment has fallen by 62,000 since August.

In November, transportation and warehousing employment declined by 15,000. Job losses continued in warehousing and storage (-13,000) and in couriers and messengers (-12,000), while air transportation added 4,000 jobs. Employment in transportation and warehousing has declined by 38,000 since July.

Employment in professional and business services changed little in November (+6,000). Within the industry, an employment gain of 28,000 in professional and technical services was partially offset by a decline of 11,000 in business support services. Job growth in professional and business services has averaged 58,000 per month thus far in 2022, down from 94,000 per month in 2021.

Employment changed little over the month in mining and wholesale trade.

In November, the average workweek for all private-sector workers declined by 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours. The average workweek for manufacturing declined by 0.2 hour to 40.2 hours.

Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 18 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $32.82 in November. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 5.1 percent.

Turning to the labor market indicators from the household survey, the unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent in November and has been in a narrow range of 3.5 percent to 3.7 percent since March. The number of unemployed people, at 6.0 million, was essentially unchanged over the month.

In November, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent), adult women (3.3 percent), teenagers (11.3 percent), Whites (3.2 percent), Blacks (5.7 percent), Asians (2.7 percent), and Hispanics (3.9 percent) showed little or no change.

Among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losers increased by 127,000 to 1.4 million in November.

The number of people unemployed for 27 weeks or more, at 1.2 million in November, changed little. These long-term unemployed accounted for 20.6 percent of all unemployed people.

Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.1 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 59.9 percent, were little changed in November. These measures have shown little net change since early this year and are each 1.3 percentage points below their pre-pandemic values in February 2020.

In November, the number of people working part time for economic reasons was 3.7 million, virtually unchanged from the prior month.

The number of people not in the labor force who currently want a job was little changed at 5.6 million in November. This measure remains above its February 2020 level of 5.0 million.

Among those who were not in the labor force but wanted a job, the number of people marginally attached to the labor force, at 1.5 million, was unchanged in November. (People who are marginally attached to the labor force had not actively looked for work in the 4 weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were available for work, and had looked for a job within the last 12 months.) The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, at 405,000 in November, changed little.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is discontinuing this publication, the monthly Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation. (The Employment Situation news release will continue to be published.) The final Commissioner's Statement will be issued on January 6, 2023, with the release of employment and unemployment statistics for December 2022. The content of the Commissioner's Statement largely repeats the analysis presented in The Employment Situation. In addition, BLS website traffic data indicate that few people view the Commissioner's Statement in any given month. (Archived Commissioner's Statements on the Employment Situation for 1994- 2022 can be found on our website at release/jec.htm.)

In summary, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 263,000 in November, and the unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent."

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor

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