December 7, 2012

The November Employment Situation Report (120712); 146K SA Job Adds; Unemployment Rate Down to 7.7% Due to Lower Participation

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:33 am

I’m looking for an upside “surprise” today from the consensus predictions which I believe are artificially low. They range from 85,000 at Business Insider to 93K at Reuters, 85K at Bloomberg, and 50-100K at the Associated Press.

The unemployment rate is supposedly going to hold steady at 7.9 percent. I think that’s going to tick up by one or two tenths of a point.

A look at the raw numbers explains why I believe that today should have an upside surprise — and if it doesn’t, things are really bad. I will put them up shortly. Here they are:


To classify the situation as really good, we need to see 450,000 raw job adds overall with 350,000 in the private sector. I doubt that will happen.

If the raw numbers don’t show at least 300,000 jobs added overall with 200,000 in the private sector — both of which would be expected to convert to about 150K after seasonal adjustment, leading to my upside “surprise” prediction — things are really bad, and Sandy won’t suffice as a excuse.

The report will be here at 8:30 a.m.

UPDATE: Well, I was right about November’s job additions being an upside “surprise,” and wrong on the rate. But the reason for the low rate is not good at all —

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 146,000 in November, and the unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in retail trade, professional and business services, and health care.

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent in November. The number of unemployed persons, at 12.0 million, changed little.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.2 percent), adult women (7.0 percent), teenagers (23.5 percent), whites (6.8 percent), and Hispanics (10.0 percent) showed little or no change in November. The unemployment rate for blacks (13.2 percent) declined over the month. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.4 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.

The civilian labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 63.6 percent in November, offsetting an increase of the same amount in October. Total employment was about unchanged in November, following a combined increase of 1.3 million over the prior 2 months. The employment-population ratio, at 58.7 percent, changed little in November.

… Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 146,000 in November. Since the beginning of this year, employment growth has averaged 151,000 per month, about the same as the average monthly job gain of 153,000 in 2011. In November, employment rose in retail trade, professional and business services, and health care.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised from +148,000 to +132,000, and the change for October was revised from +171,000 to +138,000.

(Note added at 10 a.m.) Including prior-month revisions, only 97,000 more Americans (146K today less September’s and October’s respective 16K and 33K downward revisions) were estimated to be working in November than were a month ago.

(Return to original post) I’ll look at the raw numbers shortly. …

OK, here are the revised raw and seasonally adjusted numbers:


Team Obama seems to have gotten a bad break in the seasonal adjustements, as you could make a case that it should have shown at least 40K more jobs both overall and in the private sector. No sympathy here, though, given that the seasonally adjusted pre-election number of 171K came down to a very mediocre 138K.

UPDATE 2: The private sector has added a pathetic 130,000 jobs per month during the past nine months.

UPDATE 3: As seen at Zero Hedge (officially here, with “Not in Labor Force” rising from 88.341 million to 88.883 million), 542,000 adults left the workforce.

UPDATE 4: It’s a little early to call it a trend, but the seasonally adjusted number of multiple jobholders has shot up by 400,000 in the past five months, with almost 200,000 of that increase occurring in November. Maybe that’s a reaction to ObamaCare’s 30-hour work week constraint.

UPDATE 5: Here’s another indicator of job market devolution — The actual number of people employed by temporary help services (2.657 million, not seasonally adjusted) is essentially the same as it was during the last half of 2007 — except that five years ago, the average unemployment rate during the final half of the year was 4.7 percent instead of the current (understated because of lower participation) 7.7 percent.

UPDATE 6: Pethokoukis — “November Jobs Report: Another nasty, ‘new normal’ month for U.S. workers.”


1 Comment

  1. How much you wanna bet that all we hear though is “it’s lower now, Obama is great!”

    Comment by zf — December 7, 2012 @ 10:22 am

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