Labor Market Adds 155,000 New Jobs in November

Unemployment Maintains a Record Low of 3.7 Percent

JOB GROWTH: The pace of job growth in November, while still strong at 155,000, slowed down from October’s revised count of 237,000 and was off from the average monthly gain for the past 12 months of 209,000.

TOP INDUSTRIES: The top sectors for growth in November included healthcare, manufacturing and transportation an warehousing. Job growth continued to be strong in professional and business services, which has added more than half a million jobs in the past year.

UNEMPLOYMENT: For the third consecutive month, the unemployment rate remained steady at 3.7 percent, its lowest rate in five decades.

WAGES: Hourly earnings trended up, maintaining an average annual rate of 3.1 percent.

WORK WEEK: The average work week decreased by 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours in November.

TEMPORARY JOB TRENDS: The temporary jobs sector experienced its fifth consecutive month of growth, adding 8,300 jobs in November. This strong performance followed upward revisions for the two previous months (from +3,300 to +16,500 in October and from +7,600 to +12,800 in September), which pushed the temp penetration rate to a record 2.06 percent for the year.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? Although job gains in November failed to meet economists’ expectations, solid job growth, coupled with continued low unemployment, are clear hallmarks of a strong economy. The slower pace of growth may be indicative of the mounting challenge employers face in filling jobs with a tightened supply chain. That bodes well for workers, many of whom are frustrated by minimal wage gains and lack of opportunity to grow their careers. If employers can turn that around, stronger growth will follow for all.

This newsletter references the BLS Report of November activity, released 12/7/18

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Steinberg Employment Research, CNBC, Staffing Industry Analysts, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, MSNBC, Yahoo Finance