US Unemployment Rate Lowest in Five Years


US unemployment rate declined from 7.3 percent to 7.0 percent in November, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 203,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on December 6th. Employment increased in transportation and warehousing, health care, and manufacturing.


Both the number of unemployed persons, at 10.9 million, and the unemployment rate, at 7.0 percent, declined in November. Among the unemployed, the number who reported being on temporary layoff decreased by 377,000. This largely reflects the return to work of federal employees who were furloughed in October due to the partial government shutdown.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (6.7 percent), adult women (6.2 percent), teenagers (20.8 percent), whites (6.2 percent), blacks (12.5 percent), and Hispanics (8.7 percent) changed little in November. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.3 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.

The number of persons unemployed less than 5 weeks declined by 300,000 in November,partially reflecting the return to work of federal employees on furlough in October. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 4.1 million in November. These individuals accounted for 37.3 percent of the unemployed. The number of long-term unemployed has declined by 718,000 over the past 12 months.

The civilian labor force rose by 455,000 in November, after declining by 720,000 in October. The labor force participation rate changed little (63.0 percent) in November. Total employment as measured by the household survey increased by 818,000 over the month, following a decline of 735,000 in the prior month.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons fell by 331,000 to 7.7 million in November. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

In November, 2.1 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 409,000 from a year earlier. Among the marginally attached, there were 762,000 discouraged workers in November, down  by 217,000 from a year ago.



U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics | anna@tradingeconomics.com
12/6/2013 1:42:17 PM