Key Points:

  • Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 199,000 in November and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.7%.
  • Consensus among economists was a gain of 180,000 jobs.
  • Employment growth is below the average monthly gain of 240,000 over the prior 12 months.
  • The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised down by 35,000, from +297,000 to +262,000, and the change for October remained at +150,000. With these revisions, employment in September and October combined is 35,000 lower than previously reported.
  • Health care added 77,000 jobs in November, government increased by 49,000, leisure and hospitality added 30,000, manufacturing employment increased by 28,000, and social assistance added 16,000 jobs.
  • Employment in retail trade decreased by 38,000 in November and transportation and warehousing fell by 5,000.
  • In November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by $0.12 to $34.10.
  • The average workweek for all private employees edged up by 0.1 hours to 34.4 hours in November.
  • The labor force participation rate was little changed at 62.8% and is 0.6% below its February 2020 level.
  • In November, the unemployed population fell to 6.3 million and job openings fell to 8.7 million in October.