US economy gains 245,000 jobs; unemployment rate drops to 6.7%
Friday, December 04, 2020
U.S. employers added 245,000 nonfarm jobs in November after 638,000 new hires in October and 661,000 in September, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. November’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.7% from October’s 6.9% and September’s 7.9%. The November federal jobs report reflects an easing of COVID-19 restrictions to slow coronavirus transmission, which have been unsuccessful as local and state governments resume restraints on gatherings of businesses and public places.
November’s national nonfarm jobless rate has decreased 8.0 percentage points from an April high. However, November’s rate is 3.2 percentage points higher than February’s figure. In November, there were 10.7 million people out of work, 4.9 million more than in February, according to the BLS.
In November, the jobless rate of adult women declined to 6.1% versus 6.5% in October and September’s 7.7%. November’s unemployment rates for adult men of 6.7%, teenagers 14%, whites 5.9%, blacks 10.3%, Asians 6.7% and Hispanics 8.4% “showed little or no change,” according to the BLS.
Long-term unemployment of 27 weeks or more rose to 385,000 workers, reaching 3.9 million, or 36.9% of the unemployed total, in November. That is the highest figure since 2013, according to Andrew Stettner, senior fellow at The Century Foundation. Meanwhile, workers out of a job 15-26 weeks fell 760,000 to 1.9 million. Job seekers searching for employment five to 14 weeks and those unemployed “less than 5 weeks showed little change in November at 2.4 million and 2.5 million, respectively,” the BLS reported.
In November, the number of workers outside the labor force who now seek paid employment rose 448,000 to 7.1 million, a 2.2 million jobs deficit from February.
November’s average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose to $29.58 from October’s $29.50 and September’s $29.47. Meanwhile, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls in November was 34.8 hours, the same as October and up slightly from 34.8 hours in September.
In November, midsize firms of 50-499 workers led the way in job-creation, with 139,000 new hires compared with 135,000 in October, according to ADP/Moody’s monthly jobs report for nonfarm private-sector payrolls only. Small firms with 1-49 workers hired 110,000 employees in November versus 114,000 in October. Large employers of 500 workers and up had 58,000 new hires in November compared with 116,000 in October.
According to ADP/Moody’s, goods-producing firms gained 31,000 new hires in November versus October’s 17,000. Construction firms led the way, adding 22,000 new hires in November from 7,000 in October.
In the service sector, hiring slowed with employers adding 276,000 employees compared with 348,000 in October. Leisure and hospitality hiring slowed from October’s 125,000 workers to 95,000 in November. Franchise businesses added 33,700 new jobs in November after creating 49,600 in October.
“While November saw employment gains, the pace continues to slow,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, in a statement. The ending of federal relief measures such as enhanced unemployment insurance benefits facilitates the national hiring slowdown, according to Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.
Meanwhile, President-elect Joe Biden has backed a near $1 trillion new package of pandemic aid, along with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York. However, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appears unwilling to budge from a $550 billion relief GOP package rejected twice previously.
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