U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls to 8.6% in November


The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 8.6 percent in November, and nonfarm payroll employment rose by 120,000. Employment continued to trend up in retail trade, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and health care. Government employment continued to trend down.

In November, the unemployment rate declined by 0.4 percentage point to 8.6 percent. The number of unemployed persons, at 13.3 million, was down by 594,000 in November. The labor force, which is the sum of the unemployed and employed, was down by a little more than half that amount.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men fell by 0.5 percentage point to 8.3 percent in November. The jobless rate for whites (7.6 percent) also declined, while the rates for adult women (7.8 percent), teenagers (23.7 percent), blacks (15.5 percent), and Hispanics (11.4 percent) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.5 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

In November, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs declined by 432,000 to 7.6 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 5.7 million and accounted for 43.0 percent of the unemployed.

The civilian labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 64.0 percent. The employment-population ratio, at 58.5 percent, changed little.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 120,000 in November, in line with the average gain for the prior 12 months (+131,000). The private sector added 140,000 jobs, as employment rose in a number of service-providing industries. Government employment continued to trend down.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised from +158,000 to +210,000, and the change for October was revised from +80,000 to +100,000.


TradingEconomics.com, US Bureau of Labor Statistics
12/4/2011 3:28:11 PM