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US Unemployment Down, Payroll Jobs Up
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In one of the first signs that the economy is improving and recovering from the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate declined from 7.3% to 7.0% in November and that total non-farm payroll employment rose by 203,000. Gains were made in a number of industries including transportation, warehousing, healthcare, and manufacturing.

Demographically, adult men saw the lowest reported unemployment numbers at 6.7%, followed closely by adult women at 6.2%, the teenager unemployment rate continues to be roughly around 20.8%, while African-Americans trail with an unemployment rate of 12.5%, and Hispanics at 8.7%. Asian-Americans continued to enjoy the lowest unemployment numbers at 5.3%. The number of unemployed persons currently at 10.9 million and the unemployment rate currently at 7% both declined in November 2013, signaling that employment gains were not due to workers leaving the workforce after being unable to find a job for a lengthy period of time.

The number of persons employed in part-time positions for “economic reasons” fell by 331,00 to 7.7 million in November. the Bureau of Labor Statistics divines these workers as ones whose hours have been cut back by their employers or were unable to find full-time jobs.

Discouraged workers, i.e. those who have become marginally attached to the labor workforce are currently at 2.1 million persons, roughly 409,000 from a year earlier.

The civilian labor force increased by 455,000 in November after its sharp decline which occurred on October by roughly 720,000 while the labor force participation rate remained constant at 63%.

Employment in professional and business services continued its upward trend by adding another 35,000 jobs, while health care and manufacturing added 28,000 jobs and 27,000 jobs respectively.

Interestingly, federal government employment continued to decline losing 7000 jobs in November. Over the past year federal government employment has declined by 92,000, possibly as a result of government sequestration and budget cuts.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also issued revisions for September and October’s employment numbers. The revised statistics add 12,000 jobs to September’s release, and reduce October’s numbers by 4000.

 

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Joseph Shaheen
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