Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 266,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 3.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. Notable job gains occurred in health care and in professional and technical services. Employment rose in manufacturing, reflecting the return of workers from a strike.
This news release presents statistics from two monthly surveys. The household survey measures labor force status, including unemployment, by demographic characteristics. The establishment survey measures nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings by industry.
Household Survey Data
Both the unemployment rate, at 3.5 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 5.8 million, changed little in November.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.2 percent), adult women (3.2 percent), teenagers (12.0 percent), Whites (3.2 percent), Blacks (5.5 percent), Asians (2.6 percent), and Hispanics (4.2 percent) showed little or no change in November.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 1.2 million, was essentially unchanged in November and accounted for 20.8 percent of the unemployed.
The labor force participation rate was little changed at 63.2 percent in November. The employment-population ratio was 61.0 percent for the third consecutive month.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 4.3 million, changed little in November. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.
In November, 1.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 432,000 from a year earlier. (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 325,000 discouraged workers in November, down by 128,000 from a year earlier. (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 921,000 persons 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 266,000 in November. Job growth has averaged 180,000 per month thus far in 2019, compared with an average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018. In November, notable job gains occurred in health care and in professional and technical services. Employment also increased in manufacturing, reflecting the return of workers from a strike. Employment continued to trend up in leisure and hospitality, transportation and warehousing, and financial activities, while mining lost jobs.
In November, health care added 45,000 jobs, following little employment change in October (+12,000). The November job gains occurred in ambulatory health care services (+34,000) and in hospitals (+10,000). Health care has added 414,000 jobs over the last 12 months.
Employment in professional and technical services increased by 31,000 in November and by 278,000 over the last 12 months.
Manufacturing employment rose by 54,000 in November, following a decline of 43,000 in the prior month. Within manufacturing, employment in motor vehicles and parts was up by 41,000 in November, reflecting the return of workers who were on strike in October.
In November, employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up (+45,000). The industry has added 219,000 jobs over the last 4 months.
Employment in transportation and warehousing continued on an upward trend in November (+16,000). Within the industry, job gains occurred in warehousing and storage (+8,000) and in couriers and messengers (+5,000).
Financial activities employment also continued to trend up in November (+13,000), with a gain of 7,000 in credit intermediation and related activities. Financial activities has added 116,000 jobs over the last 12 months.
Mining lost jobs in November (-7,000), largely in support activities for mining (-6,000). Mining employment is down by 19,000 since a recent peak in May.
In November, employment in retail trade was about unchanged (+2,000). Within the industry, employment rose in general merchandise stores (+22,000) and in motor vehicle and parts dealers (+8,000), while clothing and clothing accessories stores lost jobs (-18,000).
Employment in other major industries–including construction, wholesale trade, information, and government–showed little change over the month.
In November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents to $28.29. Over the last 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.1 percent. In November, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 7 cents to $23.83.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours in November. In manufacturing, the average workweek increased by 0.1 hour to 40.5 hours, while overtime decreased by 0.1 hour to 3.1 hours. The average workweek of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees held at 33.5 hours.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised up by 13,000 from +180,000 to +193,000, and the change for October was revised up by 28,000 from +128,000 to +156,000. With these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 41,000 more than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports
received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 205,000 over the last 3 months.