December 8, 2017

November 2017 Jobs Report

Unemployment Rate: 4.1 percent

Jobs Created:  228,000

Employment and Unemployment

  1. The Department of Labor reported an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent for November, unchanged from last month. 

  2. Today’s jobs report shows an increase of 228,000 nonfarm jobs in November, higher than analysts’ prediction of job growth of 195,000. Employment for September was revised up from 18,000 to 38,000, and October was revised down from 261,000 jobs to 244,000 jobs.  

  3. The U.S. has created 2,235,000 new jobs since President Trump was elected in November 2016. 

  4. Unemployment in November among those ages 16-19 was 15.9 percent, up 2.2 percent from last month. For people of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent, down from 4.8 percent in October. For African-Americans, the unemployment rate was 7.3 percent, down from 7.5 percent in October.

  5. The number of long-term unemployed, those unemployed for 27 weeks or more, was 1.6 million, unchanged from last month. They account for 23.8 percent of the unemployed, down from 24.8 percent in the prior month.

  6. The “real” unemployment or U-6 rate is 8.0 percent, up 0.1 percent from last month. The U-6 figure represents the total percentage of unemployed and underemployed workers. 

  7. By this measure, the “real” number of unemployed Americans is 12.9 million. These are people who are unemployed (6.6 million), want work but have stopped searching for a job (1.5 million), or are working part time because they cannot find full-time employment (4.8 million).  

  8. According to a survey of small business owners, “a seasonally adjusted net 24 percent plan to create new jobs, up 6 points to a record high reading.” According to the survey, “small business owners believe that next year will bring opportunities to grow … They feel very good about the new management team in Washington, they expect Congress to reduce their taxes, and their customers are spending more money. All of that leads to higher demand for workers.”

  9. In November, employment grew by 46,000 in professional and business services; 31,000 in manufacturing; 30,000 in health care; and 23,000 in construction. Since November 2016, manufacturing has added 189,000 new jobs. Government gained 7,000 jobs last month, largely at the local level. Last month, employment in clothing and clothing accessory stores fell by 5,600 and in amusement, gambling, and recreation by 5,800.

  10. According to one analysis, U.S. hiring has been 10.4 percent higher in 2017 than in 2016. Hiring in 2017 has stayed consistently strong, without great variation month over month. “In November, hiring across the U.S. was 26 percent stronger than in November 2016. In November, industries that experienced the biggest year-over-year increases in hiring were financial services and insurance (26.8 percent higher); oil and energy (25.4 percent higher); and manufacturing and industrial (25 percent higher).”

  11. Following its most recent meeting on October 31-November 1, the Federal Reserve issued a statement saying: “Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in September indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a solid rate despite hurricane-related disruptions … Hurricane-related disruptions and rebuilding will continue to affect economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term, but past experience suggests that the storms are unlikely to materially alter the course of the national economy over the medium term. Consequently, the Committee continues to expect that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, and labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further.”    

  12. The Federal Reserve meets next week, when it is anticipated the Federal Reserve will move to lift its benchmark interest rate.    

Labor Force Participation

  1. The labor force participation rate is 62.7 percent, unchanged from last month.

  2. Since October 2013, the participation rate has largely been stuck in a narrow range of 62.5 to 63 percent. Prior to the recession, the rate was 66 percent.

  3. A recent Wall Street Journal blog notes that while the gap between the national unemployment rate and the wider U-6 measure has narrowed, the “share of Americans on the fringe of the labor market has returned to historically normal levels. As those workers on the margins have been absorbed, the long-running demographic trend of older Americans retiring in growing numbers could show up more clearly.”

  4. The share of American adults with jobs in November was 60.1 percent, down 0.1 percentage points from last month. This is nearly 4 percentage points below its pre-recession peak. 


  1. In November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 5 cents to $26.55. Over the year, average hourly.

Issue Tag: Labor