DECEMBER JOB MARKET UPDATES: SHAKER’S TAKE
Job Growth in November Led by Transportation, Warehousing, Prof/Bus Services, and Healthcare
November saw the seventh consecutive month of job gains — though again, for the fifth consecutive month, at a slower pace — per data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Last month had a gain of 245,000 jobs, less than half of the downwardly revised 610,000 (from 638,000) jobs added in October. September’s reported number of 672,000 jobs gained was revised upward to 711,000. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, 12.2 million of the 22 million jobs lost have been regained.
Transportation/Warehousing jobs were up by 145,000 in November, 123,000 below its February level. Last month employment rose by about 82,000 for couriers and messengers and 37,000 in warehousing and storage; since February, employment for couriers/messengers is up by 182,000 and 97,000 for warehousing/storage. Employment for truck transportation was up by 13,000 in November.
Jobs in professional and business services grew by 60,000 in November, with about 32,000 for temporary help services and 14,000 in buildings/dwellings. Since February, professional and business services are down by 1.1 million jobs.
Health care was up by 46,000 jobs with job growth of about 21,000 in physician offices, 13,000 for home health care services, and 8,000 in offices of other health practitioners. Nursing care facilities saw a decrease of 12,000 jobs. Overall, health care employment is down by 527,000 since February.
The job growth report may accelerate negotiations in Congress over a new round of stimulus, which could impact some employers’ stability, consumer spending patterns, and additional hiring in various categories. Currently, there appears to be growing support for a $908 billion bipartisan bill, which would include about $300 billion for small businesses, $160 billion for state and local governments, and an additional $300 a week to unemployment benefits.
The other factor which may impact job growth will be the distribution of a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus.
The number of people working from home increased in November with 21.8% of employed persons teleworking or working at home for pay at some point in the last 4 weeks, specifically because of the COVID-19 crisis, up from 21.2% in October.
November saw an increase in the number of part-time workers and those who categorized their unemployment as “permanent.”
The unemployment rate came down to 6.7% in November from 6.9% in October. A decrease of 8.0 percentage points from its pandemic-crisis high of 14.7% in April but still 3.2 percentage points higher than February. The number of unemployed persons, at 10.7 million, continued to decrease in November but is 4.9 million higher than in February. But the decline in unemployment is partially due to people leaving the workforce. “Permanent job losers” came to a total of 3.7 million in November, larger than the number of individuals on temporary layoff for the second time since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. Permanent job losers have grown by 2.5 million since right before the virus began to impact the economy in March.
For example, some individuals with increased child-care responsibilities or limited job opportunities have stopped looking for work since the beginning of the pandemic. The labor-force participation rate, or the share of Americans working or looking for work, was 61.7% in October. That is up from April but remains near the lowest level since the 1970s.
According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a more accurate number of Americans out of work total about 19 million, accounting for the number of officially unemployed, plus workers on temporary layoff, those who dropped out of the workforce, and people who didn’t respond to the survey the jobs report is based on, according to Heidi Shierholz, Director of Policy at the Economic Policy Institute. Per Heidi Shierholz, “If all these workers were taken into account, the unemployment rate would have been 11.2% in November.”
Take a look at the infographic below for more info on the November job market.
At Shaker Recruitment Marketing, we have identified three important phases during this crisis for which employers need to formulate and implement a means for maintaining a stable, reassuring line of communications with employees and candidates. The three phases identified by Keegan Ocepek, our Director-Creative Accounts, are: 1) Respond, 2) Rebuild, and 3) Redefine. For more guidance through this process, see Keegan’s blog “COMMUNICATING WITH EMPLOYEES AND CANDIDATES DURING A CRISIS, THE THREE PHASES” on the Shaker blog at https://shaker.com/communicating-with-employees-and-candidates-during-a-crisis-the-three-phases/.
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