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U.S. economy adds 203,500 November jobs; unemployment drops to 7%

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The latest Employment Situation Summary released by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics of Friday reported a gain of 203,500 jobs to the United States economy in November with a significant 0.3 percent drop in the unemployment rate to 7.0 percent for the month.

November was the 45th consecutive month of private sector job growth with a total of approximately 8 million net jobs gained during that period.

The drop in unemployment coupled with an increase of 455,000 workers to the labor force for the month is a strong indicator of possible strengthening of the economy. However, part of the increase in the labor force is due to federal employees returning to work after their temporary layoffs in October due to the government shutdown by republicans. As always, no one month’s indicators should be used to determine long-term trends.

The private sector gained a total of 196,500 net jobs for the month with the largest gains in the education and health care, professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, and manufacturing sectors.

Meanwhile, the government sector gained 7,000 jobs. State and local governments added a total of 14,000 jobs while the federal government cut 7,000 jobs. Over the past year, more than 100,000 jobs have been eliminated from the federal government sub-sector.

The September 2013 and October 2013 net non-farm job numbers were revised from +163,000 to +175,000 and from +204,000 to +200,000, respectively.

The number of marginally attached workers dropped to 2.1 million from over 2.5 million in November 2012. Among these, the number of discouraged workers also dropped by 217,000 to 762,000.

At 4.1 million the number of long-term unemployed remained steady. 37.3 percent of those who were unemployed in November were within this long-term unemployed category. According to the BLS, the number of long term unemployed has dropped by 718,000 over the past year.

The number of involuntary part-time workers dropped 331,000 to 7.7 million.

Following is an approximate breakdown of net job growth within the major private industry sectors and the government sector for November:

• Construction: +17,000
• Financial Activities: -3,000
• Education and Health Services: +40,000
• Information: -1,000
• Leisure and Hospitality: +17,000
• Manufacturing: +27,000
• Mining and Logging: +0
• Other Services: +4,000
• Professional and Business Services: +35,000
• Retail: +22,300
• Transportation and Warehousing: +30,500
• Utilities: +900
• Wholesale Trade: +6,800
• Government: +7,000

The average work week for private sector non-farm jobs increased 0.1 hours to 34.5 hours; the manufacturing sector average work week also increased 0.1 hours to 41.0 hours. In November average hourly earnings for all private non-farm employees increased 4 cents to $24.15. Thus far in 2013 hourly earnings have increased by 2.0 percent.

Despite U.S. President Barack Obama’s continued attempts to work with republicans in Congress in order to help spur job growth and create a stronger middle class, republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have been unwilling to work for the American people.

The U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill in June with strong bipartisan support. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has calculated that the legislation if enacted would help to create jobs for all Americans and would boost the U.S. economy over the next two decades. President Obama has renewed calls for passage of an immigration bill by the republican-controlled House of Representatives. Previous attempts for passage of the Senate’s version of the immigration reform bill have been blocked by GOP House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia.

White House Council of Economic Advisers chairman Jason Furman noted in his blog on Friday,

“With solid job growth in November – in addition to strong data on manufacturing activity and auto sales – it is clear that the recovery continues to gain traction. Today’s report was yet another reminder of the resilience of America’s private sector following the disruptive government shutdown and debt limit brinksmanship in the first half of October. Nevertheless, today’s jobs numbers show that too many Americans who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer are still struggling to find jobs. That is why the President is calling on Congress to pass the extension of emergency unemployment insurance before it expires at the end of the year, just like they have always done when long-term unemployment remains elevated. The President also continues to work to increase overall growth while ensuring that growth is shared broadly in the form of higher wages and more mobility, which is why he is fighting for a minimum wage increase and expansion of educational opportunities.”

The “December 2013 Employment Situation Summary” will be released by the BLS on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014.

Sources:
Employment Situation Summary.” bls.gov. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 6 Dec. 2013. Web. 6 Dec. 2013.

Furman, Jason. “The Employment Situation in November.” whitehouse.gov. The White House. 6 Dec. 2013. Web. 6 Dec. 2013.

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