The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that 321k nonfarm payrolls were added during the month of November. This follows revised payrolls gains of 243k in October and 271k in September.
The Professional Services industry added the most jobs in November.
The Education and Health Services industry, the Leisure and Hospitality industry, and the Professional Services industry have contributed the most to job gains over the last 8 years. Although Construction and Manufacturing employment both grew in November, these sectors have had the most difficulty recovering from the economic downturn.
The household survey shows that 150k full-time jobs were lost in November, while part-time employment increased by 77k. Since November 2007, when the household survey showed peak employment, full-time jobs have decreased by 2.4 million and part-time jobs have increased by 3.0 million.
Part-time employees made up 18.86% of the workforce in November, up from 18.80% in October.
Those part-time for economic reasons, workers who would prefer to be full-time but are involuntarily part-time, as a share of those part-time for noneconomic reasons decreased to 34.2% from 35.5%.
The unemployment rate (U-3) was 5.8% in November, unchanged from October. The broader underemployment rate (U-6) decreased to 11.4% from 11.5%.
Youth unemployment continues to be volatile.
Unemployment for those with less than a high school diploma increased to 8.5%.
Blacks continue to experience the highest unemployment rate at 11.1%.
The labor force participation rate was 62.8%, unchanged from last month, while the employment-to-population ratio was also unchanged at 59.2%.
Participation among men decreased to 69.0% from 69.1% and participation among women increased to 57.1% from 57.0%.
The participation rate for prime age workers (25-54) was unchanged at 80.8%.
Since the total participation rate peaked in August 2008, participation has only risen in the 55+ age bracket.
Average weekly hours worked by production and supervisory employees was unchanged at 33.8, while average hourly earnings rose to $20.74 from $20.70. Average hourly earnings have increased 2.17% from a year ago.
Average duration of unemployment in November was 33.0 weeks, up from 32.7 in October. This metric reached a high of 40.7 in 2011, and is still elevated by historical standards.
Of those unemployed, 46.3% have been so for 15 weeks or longer.
Strong growth in payrolls this month, along with a solid industry mix, make this an unusually positive employment report. The household survey suggests maybe the full-time/part-time job split was weak, but the sheer number of jobs added should compensate for that.
Labor force participation was unchanged, which isn’t great, but is an improvement from the declining trend. Average unemployment duration, I believe still a highly undervalued measure of labor market health, remains stubbornly high and indicates a secular problem, as shifting labor market demand over the past 8 years has created a skills mismatch and left many Americans unemployable.