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Unemployment rate falls to 8.6% in November; payroll employment rises by 120,000

Statement of
                                
                           Keith Hall
                          Commissioner                                
                   Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                
                    Friday, December 2, 2011


     The unemployment rate fell from 9.0 to 8.6 percent in
November, and nonfarm payroll employment rose by 120,000.
November’s gain in payroll jobs was in line with the average
increase over the prior 12 months (+131,000).  Over the month,
employment continued to trend up in retail trade, professional
and business services, health care, and leisure and hospitality.
     
     Retail employment increased by 50,000 in November, with both
clothing and accessories stores and electronics and appliance
stores adding jobs over the month.  Since a recent low in
December 2009, retail employment has increased by 319,000.
     
     Professional and business services employment continued to
trend up in November (+33,000), with a modest gain in temporary
help services.  Health care employment also continued to expand
in November (+17,000).  Within this industry, hospitals added
9,000 jobs.
     
     In the leisure and hospitality industry, employment in food
services and drinking places rose by 33,000 over the month.  The
gain more than offset an employment decline of 12,000 in the
accommodation industry.  Over the last 12 months, leisure and
hospitality added 253,000 jobs, largely in food services.
     
     Employment in other major private-sector industries changed
little over the month.  Government employment continued to trend
down.  Since the second half of 2008, state and local government
combined have shed about 600,000 jobs, with the vast majority
from local government.
     
     Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls declined by 2 cents in November to $23.18.  Over the
past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.8
percent.  From October 2010 to October 2011, the Consumer Price
Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 3.6 percent.
     
     Turning to measures from the survey of households, the
unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage point to 8.6 percent in
November.  Prior to this decline, the jobless rate had shown
little change since April.
     
     There were 13.3 million unemployed persons in November, a
decline of 594,000 from October.  The labor force, which is the
sum of the unemployed and the employed, was down by a little more
than half that amount.  The labor force participation rate, at
64.0 percent, declined over the month but has remained in the
narrow range of 63.9 to 64.2 percent thus far in 2011.  The
employment-population ratio, at 58.5 percent, was little changed
over the month.
     
     In November, the jobless rate for adult men (those age 20
and over) fell by half a percentage point to 8.3 percent.
Employment among adult men rose over the month, and their labor
force participation rate (73.4 percent) was unchanged.  In
contrast, the unemployment rate for adult women (7.8 percent)
changed little, but their labor force participation rate (59.5
percent) declined.
     
     In summary, the unemployment rate was 8.6 percent in
November, down by 0.4 percentage point over the month.  Nonfarm
payroll employment rose by 120,000.
THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- NOVEMBER 2011


The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 8.6 percent in November, and
nonfarm payroll employment rose by 120,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Employment continued to trend up in retail trade, leisure and
hospitality, professional and business services, and health care. Government
employment continued to trend down.

Household Survey Data

In November, the unemployment rate declined by 0.4 percentage point to 8.6 percent.
From April through October, the rate held in a narrow range from 9.0 to 9.2 percent.
The number of unemployed persons, at 13.3 million, was down by 594,000 in November.
The labor force, which is the sum of the unemployed and employed, was down by a
little more than half that amount. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men fell by 0.5
percentage point to 8.3 percent in November. The jobless rate for whites (7.6
percent) also declined, while the rates for adult women (7.8 percent), teenagers
(23.7 percent), blacks (15.5 percent), and Hispanics (11.4 percent) showed little
or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.5 percent, not seasonally adjusted.
(See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

In November, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs
declined by 432,000 to 7.6 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those
jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 5.7 million and accounted
for 43.0 percent of the unemployed. (See tables A-11 and A-12.)

The civilian labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to
64.0 percent. The employment-population ratio, at 58.5 percent, changed little.
(See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred
to as involuntary part-time workers) dropped by 378,000 over the month to 8.5
million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been
cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

In November, 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force,
about the same as a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These
individuals were not in the labor force, 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 4 weeks preceding the
survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 1.1 million discouraged workers in
November, a decrease of 186,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally
adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because
they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons
marginally attached to the labor force in November had not searched for work in 
the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family
responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 120,000 in November, in line with the
average gain for the prior 12 months (+131,000). The private sector added 140,000
jobs, as employment rose in a number of service-providing industries. Government
employment continued to trend down. (See table B-1.)

Employment in retail trade rose by 50,000 in November, with much of the increase
occurring in clothing and clothing accessories stores (+27,000) and in electronics
and appliance stores (+5,000). Since reaching an employment trough in December 2009,
retailers have added an average of 14,000 jobs per month.

Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up in November (+22,000).
Within the industry, food services and drinking places added 33,000 jobs. This gain
more than offset a loss of 12,000 jobs in the accommodation industry. In the last
12 months, leisure and hospitality added 253,000 jobs, largely driven by employment
increases in food services and drinking places.

Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in November
(+33,000). Modest job gains continued in temporary help services.

Health care employment continued to rise in November (+17,000). Within the industry,
hospitals added 9,000 jobs. Over the past 12 months, health care has added an average
of 27,000 jobs per month.

Manufacturing employment changed little over the month and has remained essentially
unchanged since July. In November, fabricated metal products added 8,000 jobs, while
electronic instruments lost 2,000 jobs.

Construction employment showed little movement in November. Employment in the
industry has shown little change, on net, since early 2010.

Government employment continued to trend down in November, with a decline in the U.S.
Postal Service (-5,000). Employment in both state government and local government has
been trending down since the second half of 2008.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at
34.3 hours in November. The manufacturing workweek was down by 0.2 hour to 40.3
hours, offsetting a 0.2 hour gain in the previous month. Factory overtime remained
at 3.2 hours in November. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory
employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours. (See
tables B-2 and B-7.)

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased in
November by 2 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $23.18. This decline followed a gain of 7
cents in October. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by
1.8 percent. In November, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and
nonsupervisory employees increased by 2 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $19.54. (See
tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised from
+158,000 to +210,000, and the change for October was revised from +80,000 to 
+100,000.

_____________
The Employment Situation for December is scheduled to be released on Friday,
January 6, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).


    _________________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                         |
   |                    Upcoming changes to the Household Survey             |
   |                                                                         |
   | In accordance with usual practice, The Employment Situation release for |
   | December 2011, scheduled for January 6, 2012, will incorporate annual   |
   | revisions in seasonally adjusted unemployment and other labor force     |
   | series from the household survey. Seasonally adjusted data for the most |
   | recent 5 years are subject to revision.                                 |
   |                                                                         |
   | Effective with the release of The Employment Situation for January 2012,|
   | scheduled for February 3, 2012, population controls that reflect the    |
   | results of Census 2010 will be used in the monthly household survey     |
   | estimation process. Historical data will not be revised to incorporate  |
   | the new controls; consequently, household survey data for January 2012  |
   | will not be directly comparable with that for December 2011 or earlier  |
   | periods. A table showing the effects of the new controls on the major   |
   | labor force series will be included in the January 2012 release.        |
   |                                                                         |
   | Also effective with the release of The Employment Situation for January |
   | 2012, the questions on race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity in the     |
   | household survey will be modified. The minor wording changes in the     |
   | questions are not expected to affect the estimates.                     |
   |                                                                         |
   | In January 2012, the Census Bureau, which conducts the household survey,|
   | will begin a year-long process of reorganizing its regional office      |
   | structure. For more information on these Census Bureau changes, see     |
   | www.census.gov/newsroom/pdf/General_QAs_FINAL2.pdf. Both the Census     |
   | Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics will monitor survey opera-    |
   | tions during the transition period. No impact on the employment and     |
   | unemployment estimates from the survey is anticipated from this         |
   | organizational change.                                                  |
    _________________________________________________________________________


    _________________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                         |
   |       Update to 2012 North American Industry Classification System      |
   |                                                                         |
   | With the release of January 2012 data on February 3, 2012, the Current  |
   | Employment Statistics (CES) survey will revise the basis for industry   |
   | classification from the 2007 North American Industry Classification     |
   | System (NAICS) to the 2012 NAICS. The conversion to 2012 NAICS will     |
   | result in minor revisions reflecting content changes within the Con-    |
   | struction, Manufacturing, and Retail trade sectors, as well as minor    |
   | coding changes within the Utilities and Leisure and hospitality sectors.|
   | Several industry titles and descriptions also will be updated. Approxi- |
   | mately 1 percent of employment will be reclassified into different      |
   | industries as a result of the revision. Details of new, discontinued,   |
   | and collapsed industries due to the 2012 NAICS update, as well as       |
   | changes due to the annual benchmarking process, will be available on    |
   | January 6, 2012.                                                        |
   |                                                                         |
   | For more information on the 2012 NAICS update, visit www.census.gov/    |
   | epcd/www/naics.html.                                                    |
    _________________________________________________________________________ 
   
   
   

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