U.S. employment surged and average hourly earnings rose in November, as the economy posted some of its best numbers in almost three years.
According to initial estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers added 321,000 nonfarm jobs (on a seasonally adjusted basis) in November. That number far exceeded the consensus forecast of 225,000 jobs.
The BLS revised September and October employment gains upward, from 256,000 jobs to 271,000 in September and from 214,000 jobs to 243,000 in October, for a net gain of 44,000 jobs. Upward revisions during the last two months added more than 75,000 jobs to initial estimates.
The economy has added 200,000 or more jobs each month since February 2014. No 10-month period in almost 20 years has had that kind of a streak.
Job gains averaged 240,900 per month so far this year, according to the BLS’ Current Employment Survey (also known as the payroll survey), compared to 204,300 per month during the first 11 months of 2013 — some 17.9% less than 2014’s year-to-date average.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate from the Current Population Survey (also known as the household survey) remained at 5.8% for a consecutive month. The civilian labor force participation rate held at 62.8% in November and has been essentially unchanged since April. The employment-population ratio edged up slightly, to 59.2% from 58.6% in November 2013.
A total of 156.4 million Americans were in the labor force as of November. The 9.1 million people unemployed was an increase of 115,000 from October, but the number of unemployed decreased by 1.7 million since November 2013. The number of unemployed adult males (ages 20 and older) decreased 975,000 from last November, while the number of unemployed adult females decreased 585,000.
The ranks of the long-term unemployed (27 weeks or more) decreased by 101,000 to 2.815 million in November, and 1.23 million fewer people were unemployed long-term than in November 2013. Another 6.7 million people were working part-time for economic reasons in November, 200,000 fewer than the previous month.
Payroll employment growth by sector was widespread in November, but was led primarily by:
- Professional & Business Services (+86,000).
- Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (+71,000).
- Education & Health Services (+38,000).
- Leisure & Hospitality (+32,000).
- Manufacturing (+28,000).
A large portion (+41,700) of the jobs created in the Professional & Business Services sector were in the administrative and waste management subsector, particularly in temporary help services (+22,700). A sizable number of jobs (+37,500) were in the higher-paying professional and technical services subsector.
The retail trade subsector contributed 50,200 jobs to the Trade, Transportation & Utilities total, sparked by 11,300 new jobs at clothing stores and 10,500 jobs among motor-vehicle and auto-parts dealers. The Transportation and warehousing subsector added 16,700 jobs in November. Ambulatory health care services (+24,300) led gains in Education & Health Services, with social assistance adding 8,300 jobs. Food services and drinking places (+26,500) accounted for most of the gain in the Leisure & Hospitality sector.
Manufacturing sector gains were almost evenly distributed between durable and nondurable goods and across several subsectors, including plastics and rubber products; food manufacturing; transportation equipment; and fabricated metal products.
In addition, Construction and Financial Services each added another 20,000 jobs in November.
The top five metro areas for job gains were the same as in October, but Los Angles and Atlanta exchanged the Nos. 4 and 5 spots.
By the Numbers
November 2014 job gain and job growth numbers for several top metropolitan areas, many grouped by state or region.
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