Unemployment Rate Declines to 4.6% in November

The unemployment rate declined to 4.6% in November, and total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 178,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Employment gains occurred in professional and business services and in health care.

In November, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.3 percentage point to 4.6%, and the number of unemployed persons declined by 387,000 to 7.4 million. Both measures had shown little movement, on net, from August 2015 through October 2016.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 178,000 in November. Thus far in 2016, employment growth has averaged 180,000 per month, compared with an average monthly increase of 229,000 in 2015. In November, employment gains occurred in professional and business services and in health care.

Employment in professional and business services rose by 63,000 in November and has risen by 571,000 over the year. Over the month, accounting and bookkeeping services added 18,000 jobs. Employment continued to trend up in administrative and support services (36,000), computer systems design and related services (5,000) and management and technical consulting services (4,000).

Health care employment rose by 28,000 in November. Within the industry, employment growth occurred in ambulatory health care services (22,000). Over the past 12 months, health care has added 407,000 jobs.

Employment in construction continued on its recent upward trend in November (19,000), with a gain in residential specialty trade contractors (15,000). Over the past 3 months, construction has added 59,000 jobs, largely in residential construction.

Employment in other major industries, including mining, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government, changed little over the month.

“Under President Obama’s leadership, the U.S. economy continued to demonstrate steady growth in November, with the addition of 178,000 jobs and the decline of the unemployment rate to 4.6%. This latest report is one more positive indicator of economic resilience, as American businesses have added 15.6 million jobs since February 2010, in the longest recorded streak of job growth in U.S. history,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “We have made incredible progress since the depths of the recession. It’s particularly encouraging to see employment increases in industries like professional and business services, which has added 571,000 new jobs over the past year, as well as health care and construction, which have added 407,000 and 59,000 jobs respectively over the same period. Other economic indicators provide additional reason for confidence.”

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