U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BOL) reported Friday morning that total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 211,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.0 percent. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September and October was revised from upward. With these revisions, employment gains were 35,000 more than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 218,000 per month.
CNBC reported at the market close on Friday, the number beat expectations, coupled with an increase in wages, which sent the Dow Jones industrial average 360 points higher after briefly gaining as much as 388.80 points, finally closing at 17844.29, up 366.62. The S&P 500 gained more than 2 percent at 2091.48 and the Nasdaq was also up more than 2 percent, closing at 5142.27. The jobs report signaled economic strength, paving the way for a Federal Reserve rate hike later this month, as the Fed has strongly hinted.
Businesses have now added 13.7 million jobs over 69 straight months, which are a record and the longest streak on record. The private-sector employment rose by 197,000 jobs in November and private employment growth in September and October was revised up by a combined 52,000 jobs, bringing October’s growth to 304,000—the best month of the year so far. The unemployment rate held at 5.0 percent in November, even as labor force participation edged up to 62.5 percent. Wages continued to rise; nominal average hourly earnings for all private employees have now risen 2.3 percent over the past year. Overall, our economy has created 8.1 million jobs over the past thirty-six months, the fastest pace since 2000, the White House reported.
President Obama was buoyed by the news and issued a statement. The news came on the day following passage of a five-year “highway bill” that replaces the patches put in place the past several years. “This morning we learned that our businesses have added 13.7 million jobs over 69 months, extending the longest streak on record. Last night, Democrats and Republicans came together to pass a transportation bill that will help us build on America’s progress by growing our economy and creating more good jobs for our middle class.”
Obama acknowledged that “This bill is not perfect, but it is a commonsense compromise, and an important first step in the right direction.” Obama promised he will “sign this bill right away, so that we can put Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, and transit systems.” The bill also reauthorizes the Export-Import Bank, which Obama said, “Helps our companies compete around the world, and give local and state governments and employers the certainty they need to invest and hire for the long term.”
Obama asked Congress to pass a bill he favors, the GROW AMERICA Act, that he says “Supports even more jobs and invests even more in our roads and highways than the bill passed last night so we can meet our country’s infrastructure needs.” He added and urged “Congress should pass a complete budget and avoid a government shutdown. And Congress should approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership to open up new markets and support new jobs. If we take these kinds of commonsense steps, we can continue building an economy where every middle-class family has the chance to get ahead.”
According to the BOL, the largest job gains occurred in construction, professional and technical services, and health care. Employment in construction rose by 46,000 in November, with much of the increase occurring in residential specialty trade contractors. Over the past year, construction employment has grown by 259,000. In November, professional and technical services added 28,000 jobs. Job gains occurred in accounting and bookkeeping services added 11,000 jobs and employment in computer systems design and related services continued to trend up 5,000 jobs. Over the year, professional and technical services have added 298,000 jobs. Health care employment increased by 24,000 over the month, following a large gain in October of 51,000. In November, hospitals added 13,000 jobs. Health care employment has grown by 470,000 over the year.
Retail trade employment continued to trend up in November by 31,000 jobs and has increased by 284,000 over the year. In November, job gains occurred in general merchandise stores with 12,000 jobs and motor vehicle and parts dealers up 9,000 jobs. Over the past 12 months, these industries have added 85,000 jobs and 71,000 jobs, respectively.