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Economy Adds 178,000 Jobs in November, 4.6% Unemployment at Lowest Level in 9 Years

| December 2, 2016

unemployment october 2016

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The national economy added 178,000 jobs in November, sharply reducing the unemployment rate three decimal points to 4.6 percent, its lowest level since August 2007.

But the Labor Department’s November report was not as good as it may seem, for several reasons. Wages dropped. After hourly earnings increased 19 cents in September and October, the best rate of increase since 2008, wages feel by 3 cents in November cents in September, though for the year the increase remains at 2.5 percent.

And the drop in unemployment was due more to a reduction in the labor force than because new jobs were created: The labor force participation rate dropped to 62.7, down from 66.3 percent in November 2006. Part of the decline was expected: it’s due to the growing ranks of retiring baby-boomers. But that only accounts for part of the figure.

Still, President Obama will be leaving office and turning over the reins to Donald Trump after 81 straight months of private-sector job creation, a streak never equaled before–not even during the large economic expansions under Presidents Clinton, Reagan, or Johnson. Housing prices continue to rise, consumer confidence is approaching a 10-year high and the economy as a whole grew by a muscular 3.2 percent annual rate as of the third quarter.

After a tepid month in May, when the economy added just 24,000 jobs, it’s added 1.27 million jobs, averaging 211,000 net new jobs a month in the past six months and reducing the number of unemployed Americans to 7.4 million. But 1.9 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, up by 215,000 from a year earlier. The marginally attached are workers who had dropped out of the labor force but 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 four weeks preceding the survey. More than half a million of those were considered “discouraged,” meaning that they’d given up on looking for work.

The number of people employed part time for economic reasons–workers who could not find full-time work or whose hours had been cut back–stood at 5.7 million. That figure decreased by 416,000 over the year.

When discouraged, marginally attached and involuntary part-time workers are calculated into the unemployment figures, thus reflecting not only unemployment but under-employment and those who have dropped out of the workforce, that alternative rate of unemployment rises to 9.3 percent, a decline of two decimal points from October.

Looking at the finer print of the November report, employment in professional and business services rose by 63,000, administrative and support services added 36,000 jobs, health care employment rose by 28,000, construction added 19,000, with a 15,000 gain in residential specialty trade contractors. The average workweek for all employees on private payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours. In manufacturing, it declined by 0.2 hour to 40.6 hours, while overtime was unchanged at 3.3 hours.

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13 Responses for “Economy Adds 178,000 Jobs in November, 4.6% Unemployment at Lowest Level in 9 Years”

  1. Capt. Deployable says:

    Ah, its Christmas season hiring. Why do they make a big freaking deal out of this unemployment percentage change ever Christmas………WE KNOW THE TRUTH !!!!!!

  2. Sammie says:

    More Americans are kissing the workforce goodbye – not because they’re financially secure but because they can’t find a job. A record 95 million people are sitting on the sidelines opting not to work. As a result, the labor participation rate is stuck at 62.7%, a 40-year low. As more job seekers throw in the towel, the unemployment rate fell to 4.6% from 4.9% in November. On the surface, a lower rate looks positive, but it may be masking problems in the economy.

  3. AL says:

    Captain, I doubt that you will ever know the truth unless you read the entire article. All is explained within.

  4. Knightwatch says:

    And what would the “truth” be, Capt.? How would any Republican know about truth after voting for the sociopathic sex predator. Truth has no meaning to Republicans, and for the next four years, no meaning in America.

  5. Knightwatch says:

    I used to think conservatives couldn’t get any dumber, or more adverse to facts and data. I was wrong! They dig into the dumb pit ever deeper.

    For all you Trumpers (I actually gag when I type that name), ONE LAST TIME!

    The 95 million people “kissing the workforce goodbye” includes millions of retirees. lt includes millions of students of working age. It includes millions of disabled people who are unable to work. And it includes people who just don’t want to work. Labor force participation has dropped less that 4% from 2006 to 2016, primarily due to baby boomer retirements. Yes, there are people who have dropped out of the labor force due to lack of work, but that’s a minor factor.

    We are at 4.6% unemployment. In economic terms (not that any of you’d understand) but our economy is at virtual full employment.

  6. truth says:

    lol i love how this article is positive, and a conservative had to offer an untrue counter point to try to cloud someones judgement.

  7. Flagler Citizen says:

    Actually, Christmas tends to be layoff season. People always used to say that to me, and I never thought it was true until it happened to my husband last year.

    Christmas is the season for part-time, seasonal work–which is accounted for in unemployment figures, as noted in this article.

    Full time employees do tend to lose jobs during this season. Sad but true.

  8. Edith Campins says:

    Let’s hope Republicans look closely at the unemployment numbers under Trump.

  9. Fredrick says:

    Yep Knightwatch things are just wonderful… Food Stamp recipients totaled 33.5 million in 2009, the year the recession ended. In 2016, the number is at 45.3 million. The government shelled out $74 billion in benefits last year, about double the level of 2008.
    “And what would the your “truth” be, Knightwatch? How would any Democrat know about truth after voting for the sociopathic liar, thief, corrupt politician, sex predator enabler. Truth has no meaning to Democrats”.

  10. Fredrick says:

    Knightwatch you can try to put lipstick on that pig but it is still a pig.

  11. #Bernie2020 says:

    The only threat to our economy is Trump and his Swap of Deplorables.

    As usual with the GOP and the Trump followers 178K jobs created and a low employment rate isn’t good enough for a Democratic president. If you flipped McCain’s name with Obama’s the last 8 years, Palin would be president in 2017.

    Obama has done a tremendous job for this country and since 2013, 2 million Americans have left the food stamp program.

    Food stamp spending is a tiny fraction of overall government spending—just 2%

    Each dollar spent in food stamp benefits generates nearly double that in local economic activity

    83% of all SNAP/food stamp benefits go to households with a child, senior, or disabled person. Most food stamp recipients are children and the elderly.

  12. Fredrick says:

    So Bernie….2 million left the food stamp program since 2013 but we increased the number from 33.5 million to 45.3 million. You consider that a success? And it accounts for “just” 2% of overall government spending?? how may zero’s are in that number.You may want to take off your shoes and socks and check your math.

    “Each dollar spent in food stamp benefits generates nearly double that in local economic activity” WTF are you talking about? If that’s the case, we need to increase it more as that seems to make money out of nothing. That is typical liberal logic…..

  13. #Bernie2020 says:


    FDR was a Liberal so thanks for the Compliment.

    2 Million people are no longer receiving benefits. That is a success. If Trump did that in a business, he would tweet about that at 3am.

    Also you and I are paying $36 a YEAR to fun the foodstamp program. That is 3 dollars a month per year. You and your liberal hating buddies have no problem keeping women from abortions and paying $1600 for a AR-15 to protect your freedom but when it comes to being taxed $3 a month to feed the same people who kept their baby or lost their job because they got sick carrying the baby to term and fought for your freedom overseas you lose your mind and start crying out buzzwords from the meme’s you see on Facebook.

    You want to know why the Food Stamp program has increased? 10 years of deregulation of big business by Clinton and GWB , along with two wars lead to a full collapse of our financial system that only a Hussein from Chicago could fix. #thanksObama

    Here is a quick economic lesson:

    Money put into the foodstamp program
    Benefits are spent in local stores (Publix and the Farmers Markets)
    These benefits pay salaries, overhead and allow companies to order more products and make more profits
    More products mean more New jobs
    New Jobs that 2 million people have because they received

    Not bad for a 3 dollar a month investment.

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