- Buyer's Guide
The unemployment rate edged up to 9.8 percent in November, and non-farm payroll employment was little changed (+39,000), the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on December 3. Temporary help services and health care continued to add jobs over the month, while employment fell in retail trade. Employment in most major industries changed little in November.
Household Survey Data
The number of unemployed persons was 15.1 million in November. The unemployment rate edged up to 9.8 percent; it was 9.6 percent in each of the prior three months.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (10.0 percent), adult women (8.4 percent), whites (8.9 percent) and Hispanics (13.2 percent) edged up in November. The jobless rate for blacks (16.0 percent) showed little change over the month, while the rate for teenagers declined to 24.6 percent. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.6 percent, not seasonally adjusted.
Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs rose by 390,000 to 9.5 million in November. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 6.3 million and accounted for 41.9 percent of the unemployed.
The civilian labor force participation rate held at 64.5 percent in November, and the employment-population ratio was essentially unchanged at 58.2 percent.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed over the month at 9.0 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
About 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in November, up from 2.3 million a year earlier. (The 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 four weeks preceding the survey.
Among the marginally attached, there were 1.3 million discouraged workers in November, an increase of 421,000 from a year earlier. (The 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 1.2 million persons marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
Establishment Survey Data
Total non-farm payroll employment changed little in November (+39,000). Job gains continued in temporary help services and in health care, while employment fell in retail trade. Since December 2009, total payroll employment has increased by an average of 86,000 per month.
Within professional and business services, employment in temporary help services continued to increase in November (+40,000) and has risen by 494,000 since September 2009.
Health care continued to add jobs over the month, with a gain of 19,000. Much of the increase occurred in hospitals (+8,000).
Employment in mining continued to trend up over the month. Support activities for mining added 6,000 jobs in November and has added 74,000 jobs since October 2009.
Retail trade employment fell by 28,000 in November. Job losses occurred in department stores (-9,000) and in furniture and home furnishings stores (-5,000).
Employment in manufacturing was little changed over the month (-13,000). Following job growth earlier in 2010, employment has been relatively flat, on net, since May. Employment in most other major industries changed little in November.
The average workweek for all employees on private non-farm payrolls held at 34.3 hours in November. The manufacturing workweek for all employees also was unchanged, at 40.3 hours, and factory overtime remained at 3.1 hours. The average workweek for production and non-supervisory employees on private non-farm payrolls decreased by 0.1 hour to 33.5 hours.
In November, average hourly earnings of all employees on private non-farm payrolls increased by 1 cent to $22.75. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 1.6 percent. In November, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and non-supervisory employees were unchanged at $19.19.
The change in total non-farm payroll employment for September was revised from -41,000 to -24,000, and the change for October was revised from +151,000 to +172,000.