The November 2021 Jobs Report: What is the Current U.S. Employment Situation?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their monthly overview of the U.S. employment situation and the data for November is mixed, but ultimately falls short of expectations. The Department of Labor’s jobs report examines a range of U.S. jobs data to gauge the overall health of the U.S. economy, specifically the number of jobs added, the unemployment rate, and what industries are hiring now.
The November jobs report shows uneven growth in the labor market. The unemployment rate declined .4 percentage points to 4.2%, beating prospects of 4.5%, but total nonfarm payroll employment only increased by 210,000 – far less than the expected 535,000. The number of unemployed persons decreased to 6.9 million, down from 7.4 million in October. The trend there continues downward but still has a way to go to reach the 5.8 million from February 2020.
Here are some other key statistics from the Department of Labor’s jobs report:
- The labor force participation rate rose to 61.8% in November and is now just 1.5 points behind February 2020.
- The number of persons on temporary layoff decreased by 255,000 to 801,000 in November. This measure has nearly returned to its February 2020 level of 750,000.
- Four employment industries showed little to no change in November (information, mining, education, and other services), which may have contributed to the lower-than-expected growth.
November did bring job gains for some sectors, including professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, and manufacturing. Here’s how industries were impacted in November:
Overall, the report may be disappointing in some areas, but the Department of Labor jobs report suggests that the economy is slowly improving. However, there is still much ground to recover before we’re back to pre-pandemic levels, and it’s unclear how the Omicron variant of COVID-19 will affect the employment situation in the coming months.
December 03, 2021