155,000 jobs added in November

Unemployment rate holds at 3.7%.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 155,000 in November, and the unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%, according to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Residential construction employment increased by 7,900 in November. The industry has added 205,000 jobs since 2017, accordingNational Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

This is the third month in a row that the unemployment rate stood at 3.7% with the number of unemployed persons at 6 million for November. On a year-over-year basis, the unemployment rate has declined 0.4% and by 641,000 workers.

Larger job gains occurred in health care, manufacturing, and in transportation and warehousing.

Manufacturing added 27,000 jobs last month and has increased 288,000 in the past year, primarily in durable goods industries.

Employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 25,000 in November. Job gains include a 10,0009 increase in couriers and messengers and a 6,000 increase in warehousing. In the past year, transportation and warehousing has added 192,000 jobs.

Retail trade employment was up 18,000 jobs with growth occurring in general merchandise stores including 39,000 positions and 10,000 jobs in miscellaneous retailers. An increase in retail jobs accounts for 12% of the overall growth for November jobs.

“These are satisfying numbers that indicate the economy continues its momentum of growth,” National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “The gains have come despite events ranging from wildfires in some parts of the country to snowstorms in other areas that likely kept the growth from being even larger. In retail, the tight labor market has created sizable challenges in hiring – there are actually more retail jobs available than there are people to fill them. Retailers would hire more workers if they could find them.”

But retail job growth was partially offset by an 11,000-job decline in clothing and clothing accessories stores; electronics and appliance stores; and sporting goods, hobby, and book stores.

Employment in other major industries, including construction and wholesale trade showed little change over the month.

Residential construction employment now stands at 2.86 million in November, broken down as 813,000 builders and 2 million residential specialty trade contractors, the NAHB said. The 6-month moving average of job gains for residential construction is 7,633 a month.

Over the last 12 months, home builders and remodelers have added 127,900 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 876,200 positions.

In November, the unemployment rate for construction workers rose to 4.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis, from the 4.1% in October. The unemployment rate for the construction sector has been trending downwards since February 2010 and remains historically low.

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 at 40.8 hours and 3.5 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls held at 33.7 hours.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 6 cents to $27.35 last month. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 81 cents, or 3.1%. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 7 cents to $22.95 in November.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised down from a gain of 250,000 jobs to a gain of 237,000 jobs while the September report was revised from a 118,000-job gain to 119,000 jobs. Employment gains in September and October combined were 12,000 less than previously reported following the revisions.


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