The unemployment rate edged down to 10% in November, and nonfarm payroll employment was essentially unchanged (-11,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. In the prior three months, payroll job losses had averaged 135,000 a month. In November, employment fell in construction, manufacturing, and information, while temporary help services and health care added jobs.
Construction employment declined by 27,000 over the month. Job losses had averaged 117,000 per month during the six months ending in April and 63,000 per month from May through October. In November, construction job losses were concentrated among nonresidential specialty trade contractors (-29,000).
Manufacturing employment fell by 41,000 in November. The average monthly decline for the past five months (-46,000) was much lower than the average monthly job loss for the first half of this year (-171,000). About 2.1 million manufacturing jobs have been lost since December 2007; the majority of this decline has occurred in durable goods manufacturing (-1.6 million).
There was little change in wholesale and retail trade employment in November.
The number of jobs in transportation and warehousing showed little change over the month.
The manufacturing average workweek increased by 0.3 hour to 40.4 hours. Factory overtime rose by 0.1 hour to 3.4 hours. Since May, the manufacturing workweek has increased by 1. hour.
In November, average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 1 cent, or 0.1 percent, to $18.74. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.2 percent, while average weekly earnings have risen by 1.6 percent.