203,000 Non-Farm Payroll Jobs Added

The Unemployment Figures - IllustrationThe markets roared higher earlier today after the BLS ("Bureau of Labor Statistics") announced that the US economy had added 203,000 non-farm payroll jobs in the month of November.

In addition, the national unemployment rate dropped to 7.0%, down 0.3% from the month before. The national unemployment rate is now the lowest that it has been since November of 2008.


It's important to try and break down the numbers to get a handle on what is going on.

To start, the civilian labor force jumped by 455,000 to 155,294,000 in the month of November. The "civilian labor force" is comprised of people over the age of 16 who are not in the armed forces or "institutionalized" (jail, etc) that are currently either employed or actively looking for work.

The number of employed Americans jumped dramatically in November, rising from 143,568,000 to 144,386,000 (+818,000). The number of unemployed Americans fell as well, dropping from 11,272,000 to 10,907,000 (-365,000). Combine these two numbers and it's not hard to see why the national unemployment rate fell so dramatically.

The labor force participation rate ((civilian labor force / civilian noninstitutional population) * 100) increased by 0.2% to 63.0% in November.

The number of people not in the labor force (neither employed nor unemployed) dropped by 268,000 to 91,273,000 in the month of November.


The unemployment rate for adult men dropped from 7.0% to 6.7% in November, while the unemployment rate for adult women dropped from 6.4% to 6.2%.

The unemployment rate for teenagers (16 to 19) dropped 1.4% to 20.8%.

The number of people unemployed for over 27 weeks increased by 3,000 to 4,066,000 in November, while the number of people unemployed for less than 5 weeks dropped 300,000 to 2,461,000.

The U-6 unemployment rate, which is an alternative measure of labor underutilization, dropped 0.6% to 13.2% in November.


Source: BLS.gov - Employment Situation Summary (November)

Filed under: General Knowledge

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