Unemployment Rate Remains at 3.7%
Job growth in November looked to be offering a near-déjà vu repetition of October activity, shifting from the creation of 261,000 new jobs one month to 263,000 the next. However, after an upward revision of 23,000 additional jobs reported for October, November activity represents fewer jobs created.
With the arrival of the holiday season, the leisure and hospitality sector saw a surge in jobs. Other activity was seen in the healthcare and government sectors. Job losses occurred in retail trade and in transportation and warehousing.
The unemployment rate was unchanged in the past month, maintaining its October status at 3.7% in November. The number of unemployed remained at six million.
Average hourly earnings continued to rise, with the average annual increase reaching 5.1% in November.
The average work week, which had held steady at 34.5 hours over five months, decreased slightly to 34.4 hours.
Temporary Jobs Trends
Hiring activity slowed in the temporary help sector, which reported the loss of 17,200 jobs in November.
What Does It All Mean?
Job creation is usually good news, until it isn’t. Recent actions taken by the Federal Reserve to slow the economy and the level of inflation have done little to de-stimulate the jobs market, despite headlines that shout about mass layoffs.
As was the case last month, the November jobs report took many analysts by surprise. They had expected more of a slowdown in jobs creation. The reality is that layoffs are isolated, and there are lots of jobs still begging for workers. Although job candidates remain in control, they may be feeling a bit less confident and willing to take a job that looks good, even if it doesn’t check every single box on their wish list.
That is excellent news for employers. It is not, however, a time for complacency in recruiting. The best talent must still be courted and engaged to ensure matches that will succeed for both employee and employer, as they continue to pursue growth.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), The New York Times, CNN, CNBC, Staffing Industry Analysts, American Staffing Association, Kiplinger, Bloomberg, The Washington Post