The unemployment rate declined to 4.6 percent in November, and total nonfarm payroll
employment increased by 178,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Employment gains occurred in professional and business services and in health care.
Household Survey Data
In November, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.3 percentage point to 4.6 percent,
and the number of unemployed persons declined by 387,000 to 7.4 million. Both measures
had shown little movement, on net, from August 2015 through October 2016.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men declined to 4.3
percent in November. The rates for adult women (4.2 percent), teenagers (15.2 percent),
Whites (4.2 percent), Blacks (8.1 percent), Asians (3.0 percent), and Hispanics (5.7 percent)
showed little or no change over the month.
The number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs edged down by 194,000
to 3.6 million in November. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27
weeks or more) was little changed at 1.9 million and accounted for 24.8 percent of the
unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed was down by
The civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent, changed little in
November, and the employment-population ratio held at 59.7 percent. These measures
have shown little movement in recent months.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to
as involuntary part-time workers), at 5.7 million, changed little in November but was
down by 416,000 over the year. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time
employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because
they were unable to find a full-time job.
In November, 1.9 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, up by
215,000 from 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 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Among the marginally attached, there were 591,000 discouraged workers in November, little
different 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 1.3 million persons marginally attached to the labor
force in November had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 178,000 in November. Thus far in 2016,
employment growth has averaged 180,000 per month, compared with an average monthly
increase of 229,000 in 2015. In November, employment gains occurred in professional
and business services and in health care.
Employment in professional and business services rose by 63,000 in November and has
risen by 571,000 over the year. Over the month, accounting and bookkeeping services
added 18,000 jobs. Employment continued to trend up in administrative and support
services (+36,000), computer systems design and related services (+5,000), and
management and technical consulting services (+4,000).
Health care employment rose by 28,000 in November. Within the industry, employment growth
occurred in ambulatory health care services (+22,000). Over the past 12 months, health
care has added 407,000 jobs.
Employment in construction continued on its recent upward trend in November (+19,000), with
a gain in residential specialty trade contractors (+15,000). Over the past 3 months,
construction has added 59,000 jobs, largely in residential construction.
Employment in other major industries, including mining, manufacturing, wholesale trade,
retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, leisure
and hospitality, and government, changed little over the month.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4
hours in November. In manufacturing, the workweek declined by 0.2 hour to 40.6 hours,
while overtime was unchanged at 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and
nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.6 hours.
In November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
declined by 3 cents to $25.89, following an 11-cent increase in October. Over the year,
average hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-
sector production and nonsupervisory employees edged up by 2 cents to $21.73 in November.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised up from +191,000
to +208,000, and the change for October was revised down from +161,000 to +142,000. With
these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 2,000 less than
previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 176,000 per month.