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THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- NOVEMBER 2019
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 266,000 in November, and the unemployment rate
was little changed at 3.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Notable job gains occurred in health care and in professional and technical services.
Employment rose in manufacturing, reflecting the return of workers from a strike.
This news release presents statistics from two monthly surveys. The household survey
measures labor force status, including unemployment, by demographic characteristics.
The establishment survey measures nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings by industry.
For more information about the concepts and statistical methodology used in these two
surveys, see the Technical Note.
Household Survey Data
Both the unemployment rate, at 3.5 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at
5.8 million, changed little in November. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.2 percent),
adult women (3.2 percent), teenagers (12.0 percent), Whites (3.2 percent), Blacks
(5.5 percent), Asians (2.6 percent), and Hispanics (4.2 percent) showed little or no
change in November. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 1.2 million,
was essentially unchanged in November and accounted for 20.8 percent of the unemployed.
(See table A-12.)
The labor force participation rate was little changed at 63.2 percent in November. The
employment-population ratio was 61.0 percent for the third consecutive month. (See
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 4.3 million, changed
little in November. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment,
were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find
full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)
In November, 1.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by
432,000 from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were
not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job
sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had
not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)
Among the marginally attached, there were 325,000 discouraged workers in November, down
by 128,000 from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers
are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for
them. The remaining 921,000 persons marginally attached to the labor force in November
had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
(See table A-16.)
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 266,000 in November. Job growth has averaged
180,000 per month thus far in 2019, compared with an average monthly gain of 223,000 in
2018. In November, notable job gains occurred in health care and in professional and
technical services. Employment also increased in manufacturing, reflecting the return
of workers from a strike. Employment continued to trend up in leisure and hospitality,
transportation and warehousing, and financial activities, while mining lost jobs. (See
In November, health care added 45,000 jobs, following little employment change in October
(+12,000). The November job gains occurred in ambulatory health care services (+34,000)
and in hospitals (+10,000). Health care has added 414,000 jobs over the last 12 months.
Employment in professional and technical services increased by 31,000 in November and by
278,000 over the last 12 months.
Manufacturing employment rose by 54,000 in November, following a decline of 43,000 in the
prior month. Within manufacturing, employment in motor vehicles and parts was up by 41,000
in November, reflecting the return of workers who were on strike in October.
In November, employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up (+45,000). The
industry has added 219,000 jobs over the last 4 months.
Employment in transportation and warehousing continued on an upward trend in November
(+16,000). Within the industry, job gains occurred in warehousing and storage (+8,000)
and in couriers and messengers (+5,000).
Financial activities employment also continued to trend up in November (+13,000), with
a gain of 7,000 in credit intermediation and related activities. Financial activities
has added 116,000 jobs over the last 12 months.
Mining lost jobs in November (-7,000), largely in support activities for mining (-6,000).
Mining employment is down by 19,000 since a recent peak in May.
In November, employment in retail trade was about unchanged (+2,000). Within the industry,
employment rose in general merchandise stores (+22,000) and in motor vehicle and parts
dealers (+8,000), while clothing and clothing accessories stores lost jobs (-18,000).
Employment in other major industries--including construction, wholesale trade, information,
and government--showed little change over the month.
In November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose
by 7 cents to $28.29. Over the last 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by
3.1 percent. In November, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and
nonsupervisory employees rose by 7 cents to $23.83. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4
hours in November. In manufacturing, the average workweek increased by 0.1 hour to 40.5
hours, while overtime decreased by 0.1 hour to 3.1 hours. The average workweek of private-
sector production and nonsupervisory employees held at 33.5 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised up by 13,000 from
+180,000 to +193,000, and the change for October was revised up by 28,000 from +128,000
to +156,000. With these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were
41,000 more than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports
received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and
from the recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged
205,000 over the last 3 months.
The Employment Situation for December is scheduled to be released on Friday,
January 10, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).
| Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Household Survey Data |
| In accordance with usual practice, The Employment Situation news release for |
| December 2019, scheduled for January 10, 2020, will incorporate annual revisions to |
| seasonally adjusted household survey data. Seasonally adjusted data for the most |
| recent 5 years are subject to revision. |
| Upcoming Changes to Household Survey Data |
| With the publication of The Employment Situation for January 2020 on February 7, |
| 2020, two not seasonally adjusted series currently displayed in Summary table A-- |
| persons marginally attached to the labor force and discouraged workers--will be |
| replaced with new seasonally adjusted series. The new seasonally adjusted series |
| will be available in the BLS online database back to 1994. Not seasonally adjusted |
| data for persons marginally attached to the labor force and for discouraged workers |
| will continue to be published in table A-16. These series will also be available in |
| the BLS online database back to 1994. |
| Persons marginally attached to the labor force and discouraged workers are inputs |
| into three alternative measures of labor underutilization displayed in table A-15. |
| Therefore, with the publication of The Employment Situation for January 2020, data |
| for U-4, U-5, and U-6 in table A-15 will reflect the new seasonally adjusted series.|
| Revised data back to 1994 will be available in the BLS online database. Not |
| seasonally adjusted series for the alternative measures will be unaffected. |
| Beginning with data for January 2020, occupation estimates in table A-13 will |
| reflect the introduction of the 2018 Census occupation classification system into |
| the household survey. This occupation classification system is derived from the |
| 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. In addition, industry |
| estimates in table A-14 will reflect the introduction of the 2017 Census industry |
| classification system, which is derived from the 2017 North American Industry |
| Classification System (NAICS). Historical data on occupation and industry will not |
| be revised. Beginning with data for January 2020, estimates will not be strictly |
| comparable with earlier years. |
| Also beginning with data for January 2020, estimates of married persons will include|
| those in opposite-sex and same-sex marriages. Prior to January 2020, these estimates|
| include only those in opposite-sex marriages. This will affect marital status |
| estimates in tables A-9 and A-10. Historical data will not be revised. |