December 12, 2022 – Employment rose by 263,000 in November as the U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent, according to the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, healthcare, and government. Employment declined in retail trade and in transportation and warehousing.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent), adult women (3.3 percent), teenagers (11.3 percent), whites (3.2 percent), blacks (5.7 percent), Asians (2.7 percent), and Hispanics (3.9 percent) showed little or no change over the month. Among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losers rose by 127,000 to 1.4 million in November. The number of persons on temporary layoff changed little at 803,000. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.2 million in November. The long-term unemployed accounted for 20.6 percent of all unemployed persons.
“Overall, the labor market remains tight and demand for workers is strong,” said Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics in White Plains, NY. “But the claims data are suggesting a very gradual shift up in layoffs. “Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 230,000 for the week ended Dec. 3. Last week’s increase was in line with economists’ expectations.”
Where Job Growth Occurred
• Leisure and hospitality added 88,000 jobs in November, including a gain of 62,000 in food services and drinking places. Leisure and hospitality has added an average of 82,000 jobs per month thus far this year, less than half the average gain of 196,000 jobs per month in 2021. Employment in leisure and hospitality is below its pre-pandemic February 2020 level by 980,000, or 5.8 percent.
• In November, employment in healthcare rose by 45,000, with gains in ambulatory healthcare services (+23,000), hospitals (+11,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+10,000). So far in 2022, healthcare employment has increased by an average of 47,000 per month, well above the 2021 average monthly gain of 9,000.
• Government added 42,000 jobs in November, mostly in local government (+32,000). Government employment has increased by an average of 25,000 per month thus far this year, compared with 38,000 per month in 2021. Since February 2020, government employment is down by 461,000, or 2.0 percent.
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• In November, employment in the other services industry rose by 24,000, as personal and laundry services added 11,000 jobs over the month. Other services employment has increased by an average of 15,000 per month thus far this year, compared with 24,000 per month in 2021.
• Employment in other services was below its February 2020 level by 186,000, or 3.1 percent. Employment in social assistance increased by 23,000 in November and has returned to its February 2020 level. Within social assistance, employment in individual and family services increased by 17,000 in November. Job growth in social assistance has averaged 18,000 per month thus far in 2022, compared with an average of 13,000 per month in 2021.
• Construction employment continued to trend up in November (+20,000), with nonresidential building adding 8,000 jobs. Construction has added an average of 19,000 jobs per month thus far this year, little different from the 2021 average of 16,000 per month.
• Employment in information rose by 19,000 in November. Employment in the industry has increased by an average of 14,000 per month thus far this year, in line with the average of 16,000 per month in 2021.
• Manufacturing employment continued to trend up in November (+14,000). Job growth has averaged 34,000 per month thus far this year, little different from the 2021 average of 30,000 per month.
• In November, employment in financial activities continued its upward trend (+14,000). Job gains in real estate and rental and leasing (+13,000) and in securities, commodity contracts, and investments (+6,000) were partially offset by a decline in credit intermediation and related activities (-9,000). Employment in financial activities has increased by an average of 12,000 per month thus far this year, the same as in 2021.
• Employment in retail trade declined by 30,000 in November. Job losses in general merchandise stores (-32,000), electronics and appliance stores (-4,000), and furniture and home furnishings stores (-3,000) were partially offset by a job gain in motor vehicle and parts dealers (+10,000). Retail trade employment has fallen by 62,000 since August.
• Employment in transportation and warehousing declined by 15,000 in November and has decreased by 38,000 since July. In November, job losses in warehousing and storage (-13,000) and in couriers and messengers (-12,000) were partially offset by a job gain in air transportation (+4,000).
• Employment in professional and business services changed little in November (+6,000). Within the industry, professional and technical services added 28,000 jobs, while business support services lost 11,000 jobs. Monthly job growth in professional and business services has averaged 58,000 thus far in 2022, down from 94,000 per month in 2021.
• Employment showed little change over the month in mining and wholesale trade.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media