Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation

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

                        William J. Wiatrowski
                         Acting Commissioner
                     Bureau of Labor Statistics

                      Friday, December 7, 2018


      Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 155,000 in November, and 
the unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent. Job gains occurred in 
health care, in manufacturing, and in transportation and 
warehousing.
      
      Incorporating revisions for September and October, which 
decreased nonfarm payroll employment by 12,000 on net, monthly 
job gains have averaged 170,000 over the past 3 months.
      
       Health care employment grew by 32,000 over the month and 
has expanded by 328,000 over the year. Within the industry, 
ambulatory health care services (+19,000) and hospitals 
(+13,000) added jobs in November. 
      
      Manufacturing employment rose by 27,000 in November, with 
job gains in chemicals (+6,000) and primary metals (+3,000). 
Over the past 12 months, manufacturing has added 288,000 jobs.
      
      Employment in transportation and warehousing increased by 
25,000 over the month and was up by 192,000 over the year. In 
November, job growth occurred in couriers and messengers 
(+10,000) and in warehousing and storage (+6,000). These two 
industries accounted for about two-thirds of the employment 
growth in transportation and warehousing over the past year.
      
      Employment in professional and business services continued 
to trend up in November (+32,000). Over the past 12 months, this 
industry has added 561,000 jobs.
      
      Retail trade employment changed little in November 
(+18,000). Employment in general merchandise stores--which 
includes department stores, warehouse clubs, and supercenters--
rose by 39,000 over the month. Miscellaneous store retailers 
also added jobs (+10,000). These gains were partially offset, 
however, by job losses in clothing and clothing accessories 
stores (-14,000); electronics and appliance stores (-11,000); 
and sporting goods, hobby, and book stores (-11,000). 
      
      Employment in other major industries--including mining, 
construction, wholesale trade, information, financial 
activities, leisure and hospitality, and government--showed 
little change over the month.
      
      Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm 
payrolls rose by 6 cents in November to $27.35. Over the past 12 
months, average hourly earnings have grown by 3.1 percent. From 
October 2017 to October 2018, the Consumer Price Index for All 
Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 2.5 percent (on a 
seasonally adjusted basis). 
      
      Turning to measures from the household survey, the 
unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent in November, and 
the number of unemployed people, at 6.0 million, changed little. 
Over the year, the jobless rate was down by 0.4 percentage 
point, and the number of unemployed fell by 641,000. 
      
      In November, the number of unemployed who had been 
searching for work for 27 weeks or longer declined by 120,000 to 
1.3 million. These long-term unemployed accounted for 20.8 
percent of the total unemployed.
      
      Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.9 percent, 
and the employment-population ratio, at 60.6 percent, were 
unchanged over the month. Over the year, the labor force 
participation rate has shown little change, while the 
employment-population ratio was up by 0.5 percentage point.
      
      In November, 4.8 million people were working part time for 
economic reasons (also referred to as involuntary part-time 
workers), little changed from the previous month.
      
       Among those neither working nor looking for work in 
November, 1.7 million were considered marginally attached to the 
labor force, up by 197,000 from a year earlier. Discouraged 
workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed no 
jobs were available for them, numbered 453,000 in November, 
essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (People who are 
marginally attached to the labor force had not looked for work 
in the 4 weeks prior to the survey but wanted a job, were 
available to work, and had looked for a job within the last 12 
months.)
      
      In summary, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 155,000 in 
November, and the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent for the 
third month in a row.



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Last Modified Date: December 07, 2018