Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that
the data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Erica L. Groshen
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Friday, December 2, 2016
The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to
4.6 percent in November, and nonfarm payroll employment
increased by 178,000. Job growth continued in professional and
business services and in health care. Thus far this year,
nonfarm job growth has averaged 180,000 per month, compared with
an average gain of 229,000 per month in 2015.
Incorporating revisions for September and October, which
reduced nonfarm payroll employment by 2,000 on net, monthly job
gains have averaged 176,000 over the past 3 months.
Employment in professional and business services increased
by 63,000 in November and has expanded by 571,000 over the year.
Within the industry, accounting and bookkeeping services added
18,000 jobs over the month. Employment continued to trend up in
administrative and support services (+36,000), computer systems
design and related services (+5,000), and management and
technical consulting services (+4,000).
Health care employment rose by 28,000 in November, with a
gain of 22,000 in ambulatory health care services. Health care
has added 407,000 jobs over the year.
Employment in construction continued on its recent upward
trend in November (+19,000), led by a gain in residential
specialty trade contractors (+15,000). Over the past 3 months,
construction has added 59,000 jobs, largely in residential
Employment in other major industries--mining,
manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and
warehousing, information, financial activities, leisure and
hospitality, and government--changed little over the month.
Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls decreased by 3 cents in November to $25.89, following
an 11-cent increase in October. Over the past 12 months, average
hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 percent. From October 2015 to
October 2016, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers
(CPI-U) increased by 1.6 percent (on a seasonally adjusted
Turning to measures from the survey of households, the
unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 4.6
percent in November. The number of unemployed people fell by
387,000 over the month to 7.4 million. The decrease was largely
among adult men. From August 2015 through October 2016, both the
unemployment rate and the number of unemployed people had shown
little movement on net.
In November, the number of people searching for work for 27
weeks or more was little changed at 1.9 million. These long-term
unemployed accounted for 24.8 percent of the total unemployed.
The labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent, was
about unchanged in November, and the employment-population ratio
held at 59.7 percent. Both measures have shown little movement
in recent months.
In November, there were 5.7 million people working part
time for economic reasons (also referred to as involuntary part-
time workers). This measure was little changed over the month
but was down by 416,000 from a year earlier.
Among those neither working nor looking for work in
November, 1.9 million were considered marginally attached to the
labor force, up from 1.7 million a year earlier. Discouraged
workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that
no jobs were available for them, numbered 591,000 in November,
essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (Marginally attached
to the labor force refers to people who had not looked for work
in the 4 weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were
available for work, and had looked for a job within the last 12
In summary, the unemployment rate declined to 4.6 percent
in November, and nonfarm payroll employment increased by