December 6, 2013

The November Employment Situation (120613); 203K Job Adds, Unemployment at 7.0%

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:21 am

Econ catchup:


  • Bloomberg — 185,000 seasonally adjusted jobs added, unemployment rate drops to 7.2% from 7.3% in October.
  • Reuters — 180,000 jobs, 7.2% unemployment.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Benchmarks:

Here is what things have been like in Aug.-Dec. since 2000:


An acceptably recovering economy showing genuine improvement should have generated 450,000 overall jobs in November, and 375,000 in the private sector. (UPDATE: But we also have to look at job quality and the part-time/full-time breakout before being impressed even if the benchmarks are met.)

We’ll see what the Bureau of Labor Statistics has to say here at 8:30.

HERE IT IS (permanent link to full HTML): Looks like another month of drop-outs, but let’s look closer —

The 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 today. Employment increased in transportation and warehousing, health care, and manufacturing.

Household Survey Data

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.

… 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. This over-the-month increase in employment partly reflected the return to work of furloughed federal government
employees. The employment-population ratio increased by 0.3 percentage point to 58.6 percent in November, reversing a decline of the same size in the prior month.

… Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 203,000 in November. Job growth averaged 195,000 per month over the prior 12 months. In November, job gains occurred in transportation and warehousing, health care, and manufacturing.

… The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised from +163,000 to +175,000, and the change for October was revised from +204,000 to +200,000. With these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 8,000 higher than previously reported.

Immediate Observations:

  • The Household Survey shows a seasonally adjusted employment increase of 818,000, following a 735,000 decrease in October. Does anyone believe that the job market is fluctuating this wildly? Or is the Census Bureau still fudging surveys?
  • That 818,000 increase broke down to 652,000 full-timers, 154,000 part-timers, and 12,000 leftovers in seasonalizing.
  • Ho-hum, another 16,400 temps were added (219,000 in the past 12 months). The BLS, which has been mentioning temps in its report every month for as long as I can remember, didn’t mention them this time.
  • Ho-hum, another 17,900 food and drinking establishment jobs were added (333,000 in the past 12 months).

Not seasonally adjusted results vs. benchmarks:

  • Overall — 421,000 actual vs. 450,000 needed.
  • Private sector — 309,000 actual vs. 375,000 needed.

Close overall (but maybe I wasn’t demanding enough), and not so strong in the private sector.

More updates later.

UPDATE, 12:15 P.M.: Pethokoukis nails it, as usual: “A ‘New Normal’ November jobs report: The long emergency for US workers continues”



  1. There is definitely a divergence between the CES and CPS. The 2-month CPS changes were +83K on employment and -348K on unemployment. I’ll have to wait until the database is reopen to see what happened in the 25-54 workforce.

    Comment by steveegg — December 6, 2013 @ 9:19 am

  2. On the 25-54 front, the LFPR was 80.9% seasoned/81.1% unseasoned. The seasoned was, other than October’s shutdown-affected 80.5%, the lowest since November 1984. The unseasoned was the lowest November since 1983.

    Bonus item to counter the War on Womem meme – the 73.7% seasoned/73.9% unseasoned LFPR among the 25-54 year-old women was (again outside October 2013) the lowest since the late 1980s.

    Comment by steveegg — December 6, 2013 @ 10:54 am

  3. Sorry but 7% (i.e. more unemployed people got jobs than those who lost them) is not believable unless you honestly admit that the only way that result could be calculated is to admit that the numbers of unemployed dropped mostly due to those whose unemployment benefits ran out, that is they didn’t get a job as an acceptable means to get off the rolls. That is the real unvarnished story.

    What is the “not in labor force” number for the last few months?

    What I believe is the public perception in the context of Obama’s lies concerning health insurance coverage and reduction of premiums is that any rosy unemployment number is “manufactured”. In other words, this is simply more lies by an incompetent and inept group of people covering up their failures. The public mood has soured to the point that Jay Carney or insert any government announcement is merely viewed as Barrack Obama’s version of Saddam Hussein’s Baghdad Bob.

    Comment by dscott — December 6, 2013 @ 4:49 pm

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