November Job Market Updates: Shaker’s Take

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Manufacturing, healthcare, and restaurants led the November Bureau of Labor Statistics job growth report. U.S. payrolls grew by 266,000 in November, the biggest one month increase since January and the 110th consecutive month of job growth.

Job gains were spread across most sectors. Healthcare added 45,000 positions, up from 12,000 in October. The leisure and hospitality industry were also up by 45,000 and has added 219,000 jobs over the last four months, with about two-thirds of the gains at restaurants and bars.

Professional and business services were up by 38,000 with gains in management consultant positions, computer system design, and architectural and engineering services. Manufacturers added 54,000 jobs, of which 41,300 of those jobs were in auto manufacturing and the automotive parts industry. Large gains were due to many auto workers going back to work after the end of the 40-day General Motors strike.

The unemployment rate was down to 3.5%, marking the 21st straight month that the unemployment rate has been at or below 4%, a level generally considered to represent full employment, and matching the lowest rate since 1969. Goldman Sachs economist Jan Hatzius predicts U.S. unemployment will drop to 3.25% by the end of 2020. The last time U.S. unemployment was that low was in October 1953. The lowest unemployment rate on record was 2.5%, which was reached in May 1953 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The participation rate, or the share of working-age people in the labor force, fell to 63.2%. A broader measure of unemployment, the U-6, or underemployment rate, which includes part-timers who would prefer full-time jobs and people who are too discouraged to look for work, and therefore is considered by some analysts a more accurate overview of the labor market, fell to 6.9% from 7%.

The employment marketplace remains competitive. A priority for a growing number of our clients is to maintain a unique and engaging employer brand with a highly visible, steady stream of updates, testimonials, interactions with inquiries, and other forms of messaging. For advice on short-term initiatives as well as consultation on long-term recruitment, retention, and referral campaigns, contact us at info@shaker.com.

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Mike Temkin

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