This newsletter references the BLS Report of November activity, released 12/8/17. 

Job Growth Continues in November

As Unemployment Rate Remains Steady

JOB GROWTH: November job growth was a healthy 228,000, albeit slightly lower than October’s revised figure for job gains of 244,000.

TOP INDUSTRIES: There was positive momentum across most sectors in November, including professional and business services, manufacturing and healthcare.

UNEMPLOYMENT: The unemployment rate stayed steady at 4.1 percent, which is still its lowest level since 2000.

WAGES: Although not a significant change, the average hourly earnings rate moved up slightly in November to 2.5percent for the year.

WORK WEEK: The average work week stretched slightly, rising to 34.5 hours.

TEMPORARY JOB TRENDS: November was another month of strong growth in the temporary help sector, with the addition of 18,300 jobs.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? From almost every indicator, November was a good month, with solid job growth across multiple sectors, signaling continued tightening of the labor market. The biggest downside is languishing wage growth, which remains a puzzle in an improving economy. These conditions are frustrating many workers, whose expectations for improved financial health are stymied. All of this also makes it more difficult for employers to fill open jobs, another stumbling block for accelerated growth.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Steinberg Employment Research, Bloomberg, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, Money/CNN, Staffing Industry Analysts.