U.S. Economy Added 245K Jobs in November as Recovery Slowed
How do you feel about recent trends in the job market?
by Causes | 12.5.20
What’s the story?
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Friday released its jobs report for November 2020, which found the U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs and the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points to 6.7%. The report fell short of the Dow Jones forecast of 440,000 jobs, but met expectations in terms of the unemployment rate.
- The economy lost 22.2 million jobs in March and April due to lockdown measures initiated to slow the spread of COVID-19, and has been recovering jobs at a slowing pace. Monthly gains over the past seven months total 12.3 million jobs, leaving the economy 9.8 million jobs below its February level as seen in the USAFacts chart below:
- The labor force participation ticked down to 61.5% in November, which is 1.9 percentage points below its February level and contributes to the decline in the unemployment rate. This USAFacts chart shows the monthly unemployment rate dating back to 2007:
Jobs Report Sector Breakdown
- Transportation added 145,000 jobs in November and is 123,000 jobs below its February level.
- Retail lost 35,000 jobs in November due to reduced seasonal hiring. The sector is 550,000 jobs smaller than it was in February.
- Leisure and hospitality added 31,000 jobs in November but is still 3.4 million jobs below its February level.
- Healthcare providers and offices added 46,000 jobs in November, which brings the sector to a level 527,000 jobs below its February level.
- Professional and business services gained 60,000 jobs, leaving the sector 1.1 million below its February level.
- Manufacturing employment rose by 27,000 jobs in November, with most gains in motor vehicles and parts (+15,000), and is now 599,000 below its February level.
- Government employment decreased by 99,000 jobs in November due to the conclusion of the 2020 Census.
Short-Term & Long-Term Unemployment
- The November jobs report showed an increase in long term unemployment compared to earlier months of the pandemic.
- The number of people who were jobless for 27 weeks or more increased to 3.9 million people, or about 37% of the total unemployed population as this USAFacts chart shows:
Demographic Unemployment Information
- Unemployment rates declined for adult women (to 6.1% from 6.5% in October), and had little or no change for adult men (unchanged at 6.7% as in October) and teenagers (up slightly to 14% from 13.9% in October).
- Unemployment rates declined among whites (5.9% from 6% in October), blacks (to 10.3% from 10.8% in October), Hispanics (to 8.4% from 8.8% in October), and Asians (to 6.7% from 7.6% in October).
Revisions & Data Notes
- Employment in September was revised up by 39,000 from +672,000 to +711,000.
- Employment in October was revised down by 28,000 from +638,000 to +610,000.
- As it has since March, the BLS published an estimate of what the unemployment rate would have been had misclassified workers been included. The misclassification hinges on a question about the main reason people were absent from their jobs, with people absent due to temporary, pandemic-related closures recorded as absent due to “other reasons” as opposed to unemployed due to temporary layoff.
- Using this approach, the November unemployment rate would have been 0.4 percentage points higher than reported. The BLS notes that this represents the upper bound of their estimate of misclassification and probably overstates the size of the misclassification error.
- According to usual practice at the BLS, data is accepted as recorded in the household survey. To maintain data integrity, no ad hoc actions are taken to reclassify survey responses.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / Vladimir Vladimirov)
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