U.S. Employment Trends

U.S. November Unemployment Rate Unchanged At 3.7%

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 155,000 in November, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent. Job gains occurred in health care, in manufacturing, and in transportation and warehousing.
Employees in an office
U.S. November Unemployment Rate Unchanged At 3.7%

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- NOVEMBER 2018

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 155,000 in November, and the unemployment rate
remained unchanged at 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job
gains occurred in health care, in manufacturing, and in transportation and warehousing.

Household Survey Data

In November, the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent for the third month in a row, and the
number of unemployed persons was little changed at 6.0 million. Over the year, the
unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons declined by 0.4 percentage point
and 641,000, respectively. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.3 percent),
adult women (3.4 percent), teenagers (12.0 percent), Whites (3.4 percent), Blacks
(5.9 percent), Asians (2.7 percent), and Hispanics (4.5 percent) showed little or no
change in November. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by
120,000 to 1.3 million in November. These individuals accounted for 20.8 percent of the
unemployed. (See table A-12.)

Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.9 percent, and the employment-population
ratio, at 60.6 percent, were unchanged in November. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as
involuntary part-time workers), at 4.8 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.
(See table A-8.)

In November, 1.7 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, an increase
of 197,000 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. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 453,000 discouraged workers in November, essentially
unchanged 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 1.2 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in November
had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
(See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 155,000 in November, compared with an
average monthly gain of 209,000 over the prior 12 months. In November, job gains occurred
in health care, in manufacturing, and in transportation and warehousing. (See table B-1.)

Health care employment rose by 32,000 in November. Within the industry, job gains occurred
in ambulatory health care services (+19,000) and hospitals (+13,000). Over the year, health
care has added 328,000 jobs.

In November, manufacturing added 27,000 jobs, with increases in chemicals (+6,000) and
primary metals (+3,000). Manufacturing employment has increased by 288,000 over the year,
largely in durable goods industries.

Employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 25,000 in November. Job gains occurred
in couriers and messengers (+10,000) and in warehousing and storage (+6,000). Over the year,
transportation and warehousing has added 192,000 jobs.

In November, employment in professional and business services continued on an upward trend
(+32,000). The industry has added 561,000 jobs over the year.

Retail trade employment changed little in November (+18,000). Job growth occurred in general
merchandise stores (+39,000) and miscellaneous store retailers (+10,000). These gains were
offset, in part, by declines in clothing and clothing accessories stores (-14,000);
electronics and appliance stores(-11,000); and sporting goods, hobby, and book stores (-11,000).

Employment in other major industries--including mining, construction, wholesale trade,
information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government--showed little
change over the month.  

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 hour to
34.4 hours in November. In manufacturing, both the workweek and overtime were unchanged
(40.8 hours and 3.5 hours, respectively). The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory
employees on private nonfarm payrolls held at 33.7 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 6
cents to $27.35. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 81 cents, or 3.1
percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees
increased by 7 cents to $22.95 in November. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised down from +250,000 to
+237,000, and the change for September was revised up from +118,000 to +119,000. With these
revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 12,000 less 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 170,000 per month over the last 3 months. 



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