US Jobless Rate Remains at Lowest Since April 2008


Unemployment rate in the US was recorded at 5 percent in November 2015, the same as in the previous month and the lowest in more than seven years, while total nonfarm payroll employment increased by a higher-than-expected 211,000. Job gains occurred in construction, professional and technical services, and health care. Mining and information lost jobs.

In November, the unemployment rate held at 5.0 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 7.9 million, was essentially unchanged. Over the past 12 months, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons are down by 0.8 percentage point and 1.1 million, respectively.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.7 percent), adult women (4.6 percent), teenagers (15.7 percent), whites (4.3 percent), blacks (9.4 percent), Asians (3.9 percent), and Hispanics (6.4 percent) showed little or no change. 

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 2.1 million and has shown little movement since June. These individuals accounted for 25.7 percent of the unemployed.

The civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.5 percent, changed little. The employment-population ratio was unchanged at 59.3 percent and has shown little movement since October 2014. 

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 319,000 to 6.1 million, following declines in September and October. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. Over the past 12 months, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons is down by 765,000. 

1.7 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 392,000 from a year earlier. (The 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. 

Among the marginally attached, there were 594,000 discouraged workers, little changed from a year earlier. (The 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 1.1 million persons marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. 

US Jobless Rate Remains at Lowest Since April 2008


BLS | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
12/4/2015 1:49:56 PM