Friday, December 4, 2009

Surprisingly good news re US employment situation in November!

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor, in November 2009, the unemployment rate edged down to 10.0 percent in November, and nonfarm payroll employment was essentially unchanged (-11,000).

In the previous 3 months, payroll job losses had averaged 135,000 a month.

In November, employment fell in construction, manufacturing, and information, while temporary help services and health care added jobs.


Revisions for September and October data:
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised from
-219,000 to -139,000, and the change for October was revised from -190,000 to
-111,000.


Details for the November employment data:

In November, both the number of unemployed persons, at 15.4 million, and the unemployment rate, at 10.0 percent, edged down. At the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons was 7.5 million, and the jobless rate was 4.9 percent. Since the recession began, payroll employment has decreased by 7.2 million.

Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates for adult men (10.5 percent), adult women (7.9 percent), teenagers (26.7 percent), whites (9.3 percent), blacks (15.6 percent), and Hispanics (12.7 percent) showed little change in November. The unemployment rate for Asians was 7.3 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs fell by 463,000 in November. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) rose by 293,000 to 5.9 million. The percentage of unemployed persons jobless for 27 weeks or more increased by 2.7 percentage points to 38.3 percent.

The civilian labor force participation rate was little changed in November at 65.0 percent. The employment-population ratio was unchanged at 58.5 percent.

Involuntary part-time workers: The number of people working part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in November at 9.2 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

About 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in November, an increase of 376,000 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 2.3 million marginally attached, there were 861,000 discouraged workers in November, up from 608,000 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 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.


Construction:
Construction employment declined by 27,000 over the month. Job losses had averaged 117,000 per month during the 6 months ending in April and 63,000 per month from May through October. In November, construction job losses were concentrated among nonresidential specialty trade contractors (-29,000).

Manufacturing:
Manufacturing employment fell by 41,000 in November. The average monthly decline for the past 5 months (-46,000) was much lower than the average monthly job loss for the first half of this year (-171,000). About 2.1 million manufacturing jobs have been lost since December 2007; the majority of this decline has occurred in durable goods manufacturing (-1.6 million).

Employment in the information industry fell by 17,000 in November. About half of the job loss occurred in its telecommunications component (-9,000).

There was little change in wholesale and retail trade employment in November. Within retail trade, department stores added 8,000 jobs over the month.

The number of jobs in transportation and warehousing, financial activities, and leisure and hospitality showed little change over the month.

Employment in professional and business services rose by 86,000 in November. Temporary help services accounted for the majority of the increase, adding 52,000 jobs. Since July, temporary help services employment has risen by 117,000.

Health care employment continued to rise in November (21,000), with notable gains in home health care services (7,000) and hospitals (7,000). The health care industry has added 613,000 jobs since the recession began in December 2007.


The Employment Situation for December is scheduled to be released on Friday, January 8, 2010, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).

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