US payrolls grow by 228,000 jobs in November
Friday, December 08, 2017
The U.S. economy added 228,000 nonfarm jobs as the unemployment rate stayed at 4.1 percent in November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The rate of joblessness was 4.2 percent in September and 4.4 percent in August.
The jobless rate and the total of unemployed workers has fallen by 0.5 percentage point and 799,000, respectively, during the year. Jobless rates for major worker sectors remained constant in November: adult men (3.7 percent), adult women (3.7 percent), whites (3.6 percent), blacks (7.3 percent), Asians (3.0 percent) and Hispanics (4.7 percent) showed little change.
Long-term unemployment (27 weeks or more) stayed roughly the same at 1.6 million in November, or 23.8 percent of unemployed workers. Overall, long-term unemployment has declined by 275,000 in 2017.
The BLS data of back-to-back months of 4.1 percent unemployment indicate a strengthening, or tightening, labor market.
"The only time it has been this low since 1970 was in 2000," write economists Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and Jared Bernstein, a former chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden, now a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, in The Washington Post.
And workers on the low-wage rungs of the economy are benefiting, according to Baker and Bernstein.
"The low unemployment is creating labor market conditions in which workers even at the bottom of the wage ladder have the bargaining power to achieve wage gains. The real weekly earnings for full-time, low-wage workers are up by more than 3 percent over the past two years. Real weekly earnings for the median African-American worker have risen by more than 5 percent over the past two years, while the increase for Hispanics has been more than 4 percent."
Job growth has averaged 174,000 per month in 2017, versus 2016's average monthly gain of 187,000, the BLS reports.
The employment-to-population ratio stayed at 60.1 percent in November versus 60.2 percent in October and 60.4 in September. This macroeconomic statistic measures the ratio of the labor force now on payrolls to the total working-age population.
Small businesses of 1-49 employees added 50,000 jobs, according to the ADP National Employment Report. Firms of 50-499 workers increased payrolls by 99,000 jobs. Large companies with 499-plus employees hired 41,000 workers.
"The job market is red hot," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, in a statement, "with broad-based job gains across industries and company sizes."
By sector, service employment took the lead with 155,000 jobs. Within that sector, the leading employment creator was education/health services, adding 54,000 jobs in November.
Professional/business services increased employment by 47,000. Employers in trade/transportation/utilities added 36,000 jobs. The goods-producing sector added 36,000 new jobs. This sector saw construction down 4,000 jobs with manufacturing up 40,000.
"Notably, manufacturing added the most jobs the industry has seen all year," Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, said in a statement.
A factor propelling manufacturing payrolls is the weak value of the greenback. That makes U.S. exports less expensive to price-conscious foreign buyers.
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