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Nonfarm payroll employment went up by 210,000 jobs in November, following the addition of 546,000 jobs (revised) in October, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This month’s job gains are well below the current monthly average for 2021 (555,000 jobs). 

Unemployment rates fall for all major worker groups

Despite the small job growth for the month, the overall unemployment rate dropped from 4.6% to 4.2% in November, bringing the total unemployed down to 6.9 million people.

All major worker groups saw a decline in unemployment rates for the month:

  • Adult men: 4.0% (4.3% in October)
  • Adult women: 4.0% (4.4% in October)
  • Teenagers: 11.2% (11.9% in October)
  • Black/African American: 6.7% (7.9% in October)
  • Hispanic/Latino: 5.2% (5.9% in October)
  • Asian: 3.8% (4.2% in October)
  • White: 3.7% (4.0% in October)

Job loss falls, participation increases

The number of permanent job losers dropped by 205,000 in November, falling to 1.9 million people total. Temporary layoffs also decreased and now include 801,000 people, while long-term unemployment (27 weeks or  longer) inched down to 2.2 million, accounting for 32.1% of the total unemployed. The labor force participation rate crept up to 61.8% for the month but is still 1.5% below its pre-pandemic status.

Though not as great a drop as last month, the number of those who teleworked due to the pandemic continued to decline in November, falling from 11.6% to 11.3%. And those unable to work because of business closure or loss, which decreased from 5.0 million to 3.8 million in October, only dropped to 3.6 million people last month. Meanwhile, 1.2 million people were unable to look for work due to the pandemic.

Little job growth across industries

Most of the major industries had only modest job gains for the month, including:

  • Professional and business services (90,000)
  • Transportation and warehousing (50,000)
  • Construction (31,000)
  • Manufacturing (31,000)

After significant job growth in recent months, leisure and hospitality added just 23,000 jobs in November. And retail trade, which had been steadily gaining back jobs, lost 20,000 jobs for the month.

Average hourly earnings for nonfarm employees continued to rise in November, climbing by $0.8 to reach $31.03. This marks an increase of 4.8% over the last 12 months. As prices increase for consumers and job satisfaction wanes, boosting salaries is one strategy that may help employers fill more jobs.