The U.S. economy added 321,000 jobs in November according to the latest release on Friday of the Employment Situation Summary by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In addition the agency reported that the national unemployment rate remained at 5.8 percent. Furthermore, the September and October net job numbers were both revised upward from 256,000 to 271,000 and from 214,000 to 243,000, respectively.
Overall, private businesses gained an approximate total of 314,000 jobs during the month while the government sector added 7,000 jobs. Private business sectors with the greatest gains were the professional and business services sector, the retail trade sector, the education and health services sector and the leisure and hospitality sector. The manufacturing sector also had a fairly strong month, adding 28,000 jobs. In the government sector, the federal and state sectors had net gains in jobs while the local sector posted a net loss.
November was the 57th consecutive of net private sector job growth, the longest consecutive period of job growth in decades. Over the past 57 months there have been a total of approximately 10.9 million net jobs gained within the private sector. According to Council of Economic Advisers chairman Jason Furman, 2014 has already added more jobs than any year since the late 1990s.
Unfortunately, other reported indicators all showed little change in November. These indicators include the number of long-term unemployed, the number of involuntary part-time workers, the civilian labor force participation rate, the number of workers marginally attached to the workforce and the number of discouraged workers.
Following is an approximate breakdown of net job growth within the major private industry sectors and the government sector for November:
• Construction: +20,000
• Financial Activities: +20,000
• Education and Health Services: +38,000
• Information: +4,000
• Leisure and Hospitality: +32,000
• Manufacturing: +28,000
• Mining and Logging: +0
• Other Services: +15,000
• Professional and Business Services: +86,000
• Retail Trade: +50,200
• Transportation and Warehousing: +16,700
• Utilities: +1,400
• Wholesale Trade: +2,500
• Government: +7,000
The average work week for private sector non-farm jobs increased slightly by 0.1 hours to 34.6 hours and at 41.1 hours the manufacturing sector average work week increased by 0.2 hours. In November average hourly wages for all non-farm private sector employees increased significantly by 9 cents to $24.66. Hourly wages have increased on average by 2.1 percent over the past year.
In his blog on Friday CEA Chairman Furman commented on the November employment report, stating,
“Job growth in November was strong, and the economy has now already added more jobs in 2014 than in any full calendar year since the late 1990s. To create an environment in which this progress can continue, it is critical that Congress take the basic steps needed to fund the government and avoid creating disruptive and counterproductive fiscal uncertainty. We have an opportunity to work together to support the continued growth of higher-paying jobs by investing in infrastructure, reforming the business tax code, expanding markets for America’s goods and services, making common sense reforms to the immigration system, and increasing the minimum wage.”
The “December 2014 Employment Situation Summary” is scheduled to be released by the BLS on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015.