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THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- NOVEMBER 2017
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 228,000 in November, and the unemployment
rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, manufacturing,
and health care.
Household Survey Data
The unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent in November, and the number of unemployed
persons was essentially unchanged at 6.6 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate
and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.5 percentage point and 799,000,
respectively. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for teenagers increased to 15.9
percent in November. The jobless rates for adult men (3.7 percent), adult women (3.7
percent), Whites (3.6 percent), Blacks (7.3 percent), Asians (3.0 percent), and Hispanics
(4.7 percent) showed little change. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially
unchanged at 1.6 million in November and accounted for 23.8 percent of the unemployed.
Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 275,000. (See table A-12.)
The labor force participation rate remained at 62.7 percent in November and has shown no
clear trend over the past 12 months. The employment-population ratio, at 60.1 percent,
changed little in November and has shown little movement, on net, since early this year.
(See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as
involuntary part-time workers), at 4.8 million, was essentially unchanged in November but
was down by 858,000 over the year. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time
employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they
were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)
In November, 1.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by
451,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals
were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job
sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not
searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)
Among the marginally attached, there were 469,000 discouraged workers in November, down by
122,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers
are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for
them. The remaining 1.0 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in November
had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
(See table A-16.)
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 228,000 in November. Employment continued to
trend up in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care. Employment
growth has averaged 174,000 per month thus far this year, compared with an average monthly
gain of 187,000 in 2016. (See table B-1.)
Employment in professional and business services continued on an upward trend in November
(+46,000). Over the past 12 months, the industry has added 548,000 jobs.
In November, manufacturing added 31,000 jobs. Within the industry, employment rose in
machinery (+8,000), fabricated metal products (+7,000), computer and electronic products
(+4,000), and plastics and rubber products (+4,000). Since a recent low in November 2016,
manufacturing employment has increased by 189,000.
Health care added 30,000 jobs in November. Most of the gain occurred in ambulatory health
care services (+25,000), which includes offices of physicians and outpatient care centers.
Monthly employment growth in health care has averaged 24,000 thus far in 2017, compared
with an average increase of 32,000 per month in 2016.
Within construction, employment among specialty trade contractors increased by 23,000 in
November and by 132,000 over the year.
Employment in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, retail trade,
transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality,
and government, changed little over the month.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour
to 34.5 hours in November. In manufacturing, the workweek was unchanged at 40.9 hours, and
overtime remained at 3.5 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory
employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours. (See tables B-2 and
In November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose
by 5 cents to $26.55. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 64 cents, or
2.5 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory
employees rose by 5 cents to $22.24 in November. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised up from +18,000
to +38,000, and the change for October was revised down from +261,000 to +244,000. With
these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 3,000 more than
previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from
businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the
recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 170,000 over
the last 3 months.
The Employment Situation for December is scheduled to be released on Friday, January 5,
2018, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).
| Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Household Survey Data |
| In accordance with usual practice, The Employment Situation news release for December|
| 2017, scheduled for January 5, 2018, will incorporate annual revisions in seasonally |
| adjusted household survey data. Seasonally adjusted data for the most recent 5 |
| years are subject to revision. |
| Conversion to the 2017 North American Industry Classification System |
| With the release of January 2018 data on February 2, 2018, the establishment survey |
| will revise the basis for industry classification from the 2012 North American |
| Industry Classification System (NAICS) to 2017 NAICS. The conversion to 2017 NAICS |
| will result in minor revisions reflecting content changes within the mining and |
| logging, retail trade, information, financial activities, and professional and |
| business services sectors. Additionally, some smaller industries will be combined |
| within the mining and logging, durable goods manufacturing, retail trade, and |
| information sectors. Several industry titles and descriptions also will be updated. |
| Approximately 4 percent of employment will be reclassified into different industries |
| as a result of the revision. Details of new, discontinued, and combined industries |
| due to the 2017 NAICS update, as well as changes due to the annual benchmarking |
| process, will be available on January 5, 2018. |
| For more information on the 2017 NAICS update, visit www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/. |