Payrolls in November 2008

December 08, 2008

Total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 533,000 in November, bringing losses to 1.9 million since the start of the recession in December 2007. Two-thirds of these losses occurred in the last 3 months.

Over-the-month change in payroll employment, November 2007-November 2008
[Chart data—TXT]

In November, employment declined in nearly all major industries, although health care continued to add jobs.

Employment continued to decline in manufacturing, with widespread job losses occurring among the component industries. Manufacturing employment has declined by 604,000 since December.

Employment in construction fell by 82,000 in November, with losses occurring throughout the industry. Since peaking in September 2006, construction employment has decreased by 780,000.

Within professional and business services, the employment services industry lost 101,000 jobs over the month, bringing total job losses since December to 495,000.

Employment in retail trade fell by 91,000 in November. Job losses continued in automobile dealerships (-24,000).

Employment in leisure and hospitality declined by 76,000 in November, with most of the decline occurring in accommodation and food services. Since peaking in April 2008, accommodation and food services has lost 150,000 jobs.

In November, employment in financial activities continued to decline (-32,000). Job losses in financial activities have accelerated over the last 3 months, bringing the total decline since December to 142,000.

Health care employment grew by 34,000 in November. Over the past 12 months, health care has added 369,000 jobs.

These data are from the BLS Current Employment Statistics program, and are seasonally adjusted. Data for the most recent two months are preliminary. More information can be found in "The Employment Situation: November 2008," (PDF) (HTML) news release USDL 08-1774.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Payrolls in November 2008 on the Internet at (visited September 27, 2016).


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