From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 321,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains were widespread, led by growth in professional and business services, retail trade, health care, and manufacturing.
Household Survey Data
In November, the unemployment rate held at 5.8 percent, and the number of unemployed persons was little changed at 9.1 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.2 percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively. […]
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 321,000 in November, compared with an average monthly gain of 224,000 over the prior 12 months. In November, job growth was widespread, led by gains in professional and business services, retail trade, health care, and manufacturing.
A couple of graphs from the BLS:
The labor force participation rate (seasonally adjusted) is 62.8 percent and has been moving within a very narrow range for months. It was 63.0 percent a year ago. Given the aging of the population, we will likely see that number stagnate or decline slightly for a period of years even if we see robust growth in the national economy.
A broader measure of unemployment, U-6 (“Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force”) is 11.4 percent, down from 13.1 percent in November 2013.
From Calculated Risk’s Employment Report Comments: Best Year for Employment since the ’90s:
Last month I posted a possible list of economic words for the year since I started this blog. This included “bubble”, “subprime”, “bailout” and more. For 2014 I suggested “employment”, and for 2015 I’m hoping for “wages”. 2014 has definitely been about jobs!
This was a strong employment report with 321,000 jobs added, and job gains for September and October were revised up. This was the tenth consecutive month over 200,000, and an all time record 50th consecutive month of job gains.
As always we shouldn’t read too much into one month of data, but at the current pace (through November), the economy will add 2.89 million jobs this year (2.80 million private sector jobs). This is the best year since 1999 (and, for private employment, this might be the best year since 1997).
Let’s say that again: “an all time record 50th consecutive month of job gains.”
In part, this strong growth was made possible by the depth of the 2007 to 2009 recession: we fell so far that some sectors had nowhere to go but up.
There are always unexpected things that can happen to destabilize the economy, but all those dire predictions in recent years of runaway inflation, of the ACA’s danger, of . . . well, you name it, all those predictions have turned out to be wrong. We have long-term issues re national debt and entitlements, but those can be addressed (and will have to be addressed at some point).
Barring some sort of external shock or Congressional brinksmanship that threatens to shut down government functions, I expect we’ll see continued job gains into 2015.
A graph from Calculated Risk:
Still, I remain very concerned about the economy in much of Georgia. It looks like Atlanta and Savannah are among the metro areas sharing in the national gains, but for much of the state — including dozens and dozens of thinly populated rural counties — there seems little prospect for growth. We need to get serious about a health care alternative to replace the federal Medicaid expansion and about additional funding for education. Absent those long-term investments, things will likely just stagnate across a wide swath of the state.