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Economic News Release

Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press 
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that 
the data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

                          Statement of

                        Erica L. Groshen
                   Bureau of Labor Statistics

                    Friday, December 2, 2016

      The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 
4.6 percent in November, and nonfarm payroll employment 
increased by 178,000. Job growth continued in professional and 
business services and in health care. Thus far this year, 
nonfarm job growth has averaged 180,000 per month, compared with 
an average gain of 229,000 per month in 2015.

      Incorporating revisions for September and October, which 
reduced nonfarm payroll employment by 2,000 on net, monthly job 
gains have averaged 176,000 over the past 3 months.

      Employment in professional and business services increased 
by 63,000 in November and has expanded by 571,000 over the year. 
Within the industry, accounting and bookkeeping services added 
18,000 jobs over the month. Employment continued to trend up in 
administrative and support services (+36,000), computer systems 
design and related services (+5,000), and management and 
technical consulting services (+4,000).

      Health care employment rose by 28,000 in November, with a 
gain of 22,000 in ambulatory health care services. Health care 
has added 407,000 jobs over the year. 

      Employment in construction continued on its recent upward 
trend in November (+19,000), led by a gain in residential 
specialty trade contractors (+15,000). Over the past 3 months, 
construction has added 59,000 jobs, largely in residential 

      Employment in other major industries--mining, 
manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and 
warehousing, information, financial activities, leisure and 
hospitality, and government--changed little over the month.

      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls decreased by 3 cents in November to $25.89, following 
an 11-cent increase in October. Over the past 12 months, average 
hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 percent. From October 2015 to 
October 2016, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers 
(CPI-U) increased by 1.6 percent (on a seasonally adjusted 

      Turning to measures from the survey of households, the 
unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 4.6 
percent in November. The number of unemployed people fell by 
387,000 over the month to 7.4 million. The decrease was largely 
among adult men. From August 2015 through October 2016, both the 
unemployment rate and the number of unemployed people had shown 
little movement on net.

      In November, the number of people searching for work for 27 
weeks or more was little changed at 1.9 million. These long-term 
unemployed accounted for 24.8 percent of the total unemployed. 

      The labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent, was 
about unchanged in November, and the employment-population ratio 
held at 59.7 percent. Both measures have shown little movement 
in recent months.

      In November, there were 5.7 million people working part 
time for economic reasons (also referred to as involuntary part-
time workers). This measure was little changed over the month 
but was down by 416,000 from a year earlier.

      Among those neither working nor looking for work in 
November, 1.9 million were considered marginally attached to the 
labor force, up from 1.7 million a year earlier. Discouraged 
workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that 
no jobs were available for them, numbered 591,000 in November, 
essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (Marginally attached 
to the labor force refers to people who had not looked for work 
in the 4 weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were 
available for work, and had looked for a job within the last 12 

      In summary, the unemployment rate declined to 4.6 percent 
in November, and nonfarm payroll employment increased by 

Last Modified Date: December 02, 2016