Solid job creation as the labor market constricts
US Jobs Report – November 2016
On Friday, December 2, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly employment situation report for November, which is a widely used indicator for the health of the labor market. The November report met with mostly expected job growth as the labor market constricted driving the unemployment rate to a nine-year low.
- U.S. adds 178,000 new jobs in November close to expectations but not all good news
- The unemployment rate fell to a nine-year low in November to 4.6% as the labor force contracted reducing the labor force participation rate to its lowest since June
- The labor force participation rate ticked down slightly to 62.7%
- The size of the labor force decreased by 226,000
- 3rd-quarter GDP picked up the pace expanding at an annual rate of 3.2%, the best quarterly advance in two years
Thus far in 2016, employment growth has averaged 180,000 per month, compared with an average monthly increase of 229,000 in 2015. In November, employment gains occurred in professional and business services and in health care.
Employment in professional and business services rose by 63,000 in November and has risen by 571,000 over the year. Over the month, accounting and bookkeeping services added 18,000 jobs. Employment continued to trend up in administrative and support services (+36,000), computer systems design and related services (+5,000), and management and technical consulting services (+4,000).
Health care employment rose by 28,000 in November. Within the industry, employment growth occurred in ambulatory health care services (+22,000). Over the past 12 months, health care has added 407,000 jobs.
Employment in construction continued on its recent upward trend in November (+19,000), with a gain in residential specialty trade contractors (+15,000). Over the past 3 months, construction has added 59,000 jobs, largely in residential construction.
Employment in other major industries, including mining, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government, changed little over the month.