The November 2016 Jobs Report was released by the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday morning, December 2. It showed steady though unspectacular jobs and employment growth, with a record-breaking 4.7 million EMPLOYED people leaving the work force (probably due mostly to retirement). The unemployment rate dropped 0.3% as 300,000 MORE unemployed people FOUND work and started working than employed people who LOST jobs and started looking for work.
November 2016 Highlights:
- The economy added 178,000 jobs, an average number of new jobs, and the unemployment rate fell substantially by 0.3% to 4.6%.
- Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 176,000 per month. Since the beginning of the year, job gains have averaged 180,000 per month.
- The number of employed people went up by 160,000. The number of unemployed people went down by 387,000 as 226,000 people left the labor force, meaning that they stopped working or stopped looking for work. That is a NET number.
- 9,000 MORE people are working full-time and 118,000 MORE people are working part-time in November.
- One of the biggest jumps in employment over the past year is in the area of people working part-time BY CHOICE.
- There are about 929,000 MORE people working part-time VOLUNTARILY than a year ago and about 416,000 FEWER people working part-time INVOLUNTARILY than a year ago.
- Altogether, there are 2.6 million MORE people working than a year ago, with 2.1 million MORE people working full-time and about 513,000 MORE people working part-time than a year ago. As discussed above, however, the jump in part-time employment is due mostly to people working part-time by choice, as the number of people working part-time involuntarily has fallen to pre-recession levels.
- There were 156,000 MORE private sector jobs, and 22,000 MORE government jobs in November.
- The alternate unemployment rate (U-6) declined to 9.3% this month. (It has averaged 9.7% during the year of 2016.) This is down 9.9% from a year ago.
- Government jobs include jobs at the federal, state, and local levels, including public school teachers. It does not include military jobs, though it does include civilian Defense workers who are employed directly by the government. Local government (but not education) accounted for 14,000 of the 22,000 increase in government jobs.
- Employment in construction was up in November but manufacturing was down slightly. Employment in professional and business services, accounting and bookkeeping services, administrative support services, and health care employment all increased significantly during the month of November.
- Year-to-date in 2016, 1,653,000 people (net) have entered the labor force with 1,982,000 more people employed, and 1,599,000 MORE people employed full-time. That means that people are entering the labor market AND finding full-time jobs.
- The Labor Force participation rate has been VERY stable since 2014, varying between 62.4% and 63%. It was 62.66% in November.
- Remember that there is NO ideal labor force size, and most of the overall decrease in the labor force participation RATE over the last few years has been due to Baby Boomers retiring in great numbers.
From the BLS report:
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised up from +191,000 to +208,000, and the change for October was revised down from +161,000 to +142,000. With these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 2,000 less than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 176,000 per month.
(For the record, 8 years ago, in November 2008, we lost 769,000 jobs as the country continued its slide into the worst recession in 80 years.)
November 2016 reports: (Notation on the links will be changed to "UPDATED for November" when the updated reports become available later today or over the weekend. Not all reports are updated every month.)
- What Was the Unemployment Rate When Obama Took Office (compared to today)? Updated for November
- How Many Jobs Created or Lost Under Obama? - Full-time vs. Part-time? - Not yet updated for November
- Democrats rock at full-time job creation! - Not yet updated for November
- How Many Jobs Were Created in 2016? - Not yet updated for November
- Jobs Lost/Gained Year by Year Since 1999 - Not yet updated.
- 93 Million People Not in the Labor Force? Who are those people? Latest update is for April 2015
More highlights and reports will continue to be posted here over the coming days and weeks. Please check back!
Expectations and the ADP Report:
The pundits were expecting job growth in the vicinity of 169,000 new private jobs and total job growth in the vicinity of 180,000. The ADP report, which was released Wednesday, November 30th, showed an increase of 216,000 private sector jobs. Over time, the numbers in the ADP report tend to follow those in the BLS government report very closely. In the ADP report, Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, said:
Businesses hired aggressively in November and there is little evidence that the uncertainty surrounding the presidential election dampened hiring. In addition, because of the tightening labor market, retailers may be accelerating seasonal hiring to secure an adequate workforce to meet holiday demand, although total expected seasonal hiring may be no higher than last year’s.