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The attached file contains this articles commentary as well as tables and charts of the data.

Employment Situation: Solid Job Gains Ahead of December Fed Meeting

December 1, 2016
Bottom Line: Payroll Employment rose by 178k in November, compared with market expectations for an increase of 180k. There were modest revisions to the previous two months which subtracted a total of 2k jobs. Job creation has averaged 176k over the past 3 months vs. the past 12 months average of 188k.

The unemployment rate dropped, as household employment grew more than the decline in labor force. Household employment, a different survey than the nonfarm payroll data, rose by 160k while the labor force fell by 226k in November. Some of this surprise decline may be due to difficult seasonal adjustments as the Veteran's Day holiday fell on a Friday. Over the past year, the unemployment rate has declined by 0.4 percentage points, the result of 2,641k more people finding jobs as 2,119k more people entered the labor force.

Both hourly and weekly earnings fell modestly after a moderate increase in October. The 3-, 6- and 12-month annualized averages are between 2.4 and 2.5%, still higher than the past of gains in 2015 (2.0%) and 2014 (2.2%). The workweek was unchanged and the 3-month average is now 34.4.

Payroll Employment ROSE by 178k in November, compared with market expectations for an increase of 180k. The prior 2 months were revised, lower in October by 19k and higher in September by 17k.

Government jobs ROSE by 22k. Consequently, private sector jobs ROSE by 156k. Overall employment is now 1.6% ABOVE its year ago level, Over the past 12 months, 2,253k jobs have been created.

The Unemployment Rate FELL by 0.3 percentage points in November to 4.6%, compared with market expectations for no change to 4.9%.

Household employment ROSE by 160k while the labor force declined by 226k, resulting in a decrease in the number of unemployed of 387k.

The Labor Force Participation Rate FELL by 0.1 percentage points to 62.7%. The Employment-Population Ratio was UNCHANGED by 0.0 percentage points to 59.7%.

Hourly Earnings FELL by 0.1% in November, below market expectations of 0.2%. Hourly earnings are now 1.7% ABOVE their year ago level.

Weekly Earnings also FELL by 0.1%, the result of the change in hourly earnings and a steady workweek. Weekly earnings are now 2.2% ABOVE their year ago level.

The Average Workweek was UNCHANGED by 0.0 to 34.4 hours, in line the market consensus at 34.4 hours.