The Employment Situation for November, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009
The unemployment rate edged down to 10.0 percent in November, and nonfarm payroll employment was essentially unchanged (-11,000).  Additionally, after revision, the estimates of job loss for September and October were smaller than reported last month.  In November, job losses occurred in construction, manufacturing, and information, while employment rose in temporary help services and health care.   

Construction employment fell by 27,000 over the month, compared with an average monthly decline of 63,000 in the prior 6 months.  In recent months, most of the decline has occurred in the nonresidential components.  

In manufacturing, employment fell by 41,000 in November, about in line with the trend over the prior 4 months.  There were notable job cuts over the month in machinery, computer and electronic products, and printing.  The factory workweek rose by 0.3 hour and has increased by one full hour since May.  In November, employment in the information industry declined by 17,000, with telecommunications accounting for half of the loss.  

Employment in temporary help services rose in November.  The industry started the year with large job losses, averaging 69,000 per month through April.  Recently, the industry has  added jobs, with gains averaging 48,000 per month in October and November.

Over the month, employment continued to increase in health care, with gains in home health care and hospitals.  Since the recession began, health care has added 613,000 jobs.    

Average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers in the private sector were up by 1 cent in November to $18.74.  Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.2 percent.  

In November, both the number of unemployed persons, at 15.4 million, and the unemployment rate, at 10.0 percent, edged down. At the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons was 7.5 million, and the jobless rate was 4.9 percent.
Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates for adult men (10.5 percent), adult women  (7.9 percent), teenagers (26.7 percent), whites (9.3 percent), blacks (15.6 percent), and Hispanics (12.7 percent) showed little change in November. The unemployment rate for Asians was 7.3 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised from -219,000 to -139,000, and the change for October was revised from -190,000 to -111,000.
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