The U.S. economy gained 155,000 jobs in November, and unemployment was unchanged at 3.7%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The labor market can be a leading indicator for the economy. Soft wage growth has been accompanied by weaker auto sales than typical for this low level of unemployment, leading General Motors to plan plant closings, and slowing home sales point to stresses for workers and the household sector of the economy. The Federal Reserve needs to move with great caution and hold off on more rate increases.
In response to the November job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:
#JobReport Payroll employment up 155,000 in November, unemployment rate steady at 3.7% Over the year, wages were up 3.1% not impressive enough numbers for the @federalreserve to maintain increasing interest rates @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018
#JobsReport Labor Force Participation rates remain flat overall, the Black and white rates remain similar, both near 62.2% for Blacks 62.9% for whites. @AFLCIO @rolandsmartin pic.twitter.com/1s8Rt1wCA4— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018
A look at the question of structural unemployment issues: unemployment rate falls for high school dropouts to 5.6%, and high school grads to 3.5%, while it edges up for college (less than bachelors) 3.0 to 3.1 and bachelor's (or more) 2.0 to 2.2% #JobsReport @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018
A look at structural unemployment questions: Here's the recent history of unemployment rates for computer related occupations--very strong cyclical component and little different from just college educated workers, generally. #JobsReport @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/49hbSKJQiA— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018
#JobsReport A quick graphical summary of job gains (losses) by industry and earnings (thanks @BLS_gov ) only losing industries were above average wages, biggest gains were below average wage industries @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/EqkxniZ6cd— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018
We won't grow as a nation if we don't increase public investment in education, these declines in state and local education are not good signs for the future @AFTunion @AFLCIO @AFSCME #JobsReport pic.twitter.com/Rx7URL4jgo— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018
GM layoffs are yet to come, but auto sector already shows weakness, down 800 in November and 1,800 over the year, @UAW @AFLCIO #JobsReport This is an interest sensitive industry the @federalreserve needs to be watching more closely— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018
Bad sign, @IWPResearch @HeidiatIWPR : Last month, more unemployed women dropped out of the labor force (811.000) than found work (731,000) -- reversing recent trend and opposite the success of men #JobsReport @AFLCIO https://t.co/IPzxmzhpO2— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018
Last month's biggest job gains were in health care (32,000), professional and business services (32,000), manufacturing (27,000), transportation and warehousing (25,000) and retail trade (18,000). Employment in other major industries—including mining, construction, wholesale trade, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government—showed little change over the month.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for teenagers (12%), blacks (5.9%), Hispanics (4.5%), adult women (3.4%), whites (3.4%), adult men (3.3%) and Asians (2.7%) showed little or no change in November.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined slightly in November and accounted for 20.8% of the unemployed.