The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

U.S. Employment Growth Widespread in November

Unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.8 percent.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 321,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Job gains were widespread, led by growth in professional and business services (+86,000), retail trade (+50,000), health care (+29,000), and manufacturing (+28,000).

Durable goods accounted for 17,000 of the 28,000 jobs added in manufacturing. Plastics and rubber products accounted for most of the 11,000 gain in nondurable goods. Over the year, manufacturing has added 171,000 jobs, largely in durable goods.

Construction employment also continued to trend up (+20,000). Specialty trade contractor jobs rose by 21,000, mostly in the residential component. Over the past 12 months, construction has added 213,000 jobs, with specialty trade contractors making up just over half.

Transportation and warehousing employment also increased (+17,000) and has added 143,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 9 cents to $24.66. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.1 percent. In November, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $20.74.

Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.2 percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 2.8 million in November. These individuals accounted for 30.7 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 1.2 million.

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