Economy added 146k jobs in November, unemployment falls to 7.7%

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 146,000 in November. Since the beginning of this year, employment growth has averaged 151,000 per month, about the same as the average monthly job gain of 153,000 in 2011. In November, employment rose in retail trade, professional and business services, and health care.

Retail trade employment rose by 53,000 in November and has increased by 140,000 over the past 3 months. Over the month, job gains occurred in clothing and clothing accessory stores (+33,000), in general merchandise stores (+10,000), and in electronics and appliance stores (+9,000). Employment in miscellaneous store retailers decreased by 13,000.

In November, employment in professional and business services rose by 43,000. Employment continued to increase in computer systems design and related services.

Health care employment continued to increase in November (+20,000), with gains in hospitals (+8,000) and in nursing care facilities (+5,000). Health care has added an average of 26,000 jobs per month this year.

Employment in wholesale trade edged up over the month (+13,000). Since reaching an employment trough in May 2010, the industry has added 228,000 jobs.

Information employment also edged up in November (+12,000), with the increase concentrated in motion picture and sound recording (+15,000). On net, information employment has changed little over the past 12 months.

In November, leisure and hospitality employment continued to trend up (+23,000). Over the past 12 months, the industry has added 305,000 jobs.

Employment in construction declined by 20,000 in November, with much of the loss occurring in construction of buildings (-11,000). Since early 2010, employment in construction has shown no clear trend.

Manufacturing employment changed little over the month. Within the industry, job losses in food manufacturing (-12,000) and chemicals (-9,000) more than offset gains in motor vehicles and parts (+10,000) and wood products (+3,000). On net, manufacturing employment has changed little since this past spring.

Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, and government, showed little change in November.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls remained at 34.4 hours in November. The manufacturing workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 40.6 hours, and factory overtime was unchanged at 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours.

In November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $23.63. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.7 percent. In November, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees edged up by 3 cents to $19.84.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised from +148,000 to +132,000, and the change for October was revised from +171,000 to +138,000.

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