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November jobs up to 203,000

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Employment rose by 203,000 in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday, which is supported by several other positive reports indicating a recovering economy. For deeper analysis, see the video, where Morningstar economist, Bob Johnson, welcomes the November improvement with a cautionary comment that it will take "another six months at this rate" to have recovered all the jobs we have lost in the recession.

Million jobs missing

The economy has generated 7.5 million jobs during this recovery, says Johnson. That is contrasted with 8.7 million jobs lost. This is especially disappointing in view of the fact that the recovery has been mostly low-paying jobs in the service sector such as food services and drinking places. Good jobs in construction and manufacturing are up by no more than a million according to Johnson compared with four million jobs lost since the recovery.

Best part of the report

The November report shows gains of 31 million jobs in transportation and warehousing, 28 million in healthcare, 27 million in manufacturing and 17 million in construction. Most of the other gains were the usual lower-paying service sector such as professional and business services (35 million), retail trade (22 million) and leisure and hospitality (18 million). Employee earnings and hours worked moved upward in November as well.

Other reports show improvement

Layoffs were virtually unchanged in November according to outplacement firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Its Wednesday report showed the expected cutbacks in retail but interestingly marks further softness in aerospace and defense. This may be a harbinger of further cuts as defense spending takes an even greater hit in the 2014 U.S. budget. Other good news came as payrolls are up by 215,000 according to ADP's November report.

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