The US economy added 210,000 jobs in November, lower than gains in September and October, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The overall unemployment rate continued its steady decrease, dropping 0.4 percentage points to 4.2% for the month. The number of unemployed people fell by 542,000 to 6.9 million.
The Census Bureau’s October Household Survey data shows 3.6 million people were “unable to work due to their employer closing or losing business due to the pandemic.” That’s about 200,000 fewer than in October.
Still, employment is not back to pre-pandemic levels. In January 2020, the unemployment rate was 3.5% and about 5.8 million people were unemployed. US total employment is now at 148.6 million, 2.4% lower than January of last year.
November is usually a month where employers add jobs for the holiday season. The monthly job report shows retail employment dropped by 20,400 jobs.
Professional and business services, a sector that ranked second in total job growth for September and October, led November growth. It accounted for 30.4% of new jobs.
The leisure and hospitality sector, which led growth in June, July, September, and October of this year, added 23,000 jobs in November.
The government sector lost jobs for the fourth month in a row. Notably, local government jobs fell by 18,000, and state government lost 9,000 jobs.
Average hourly earnings continued to grow, increasing by 8 cents to $31.03. Hourly earnings are up $2.60 from January of last year.
On average, hourly earnings increased by 0.4% a month from January 2020 through October 2021. Monthly changes from 2018 through 2019 increased by an average of 0.26%.
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