Employers Pull out of Katrina-Produced Hiring Slump in November

December 2, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - US employers were apparently able to shake off a hurricane-induced economic slowdown in November to add 215,000 workers to their payrolls.

In the latest monthly data from the US Department of Labor (DoL) officials also reported that the nation’s jobless rate stayed at 5% in November. Both the jobs figure and the unemployment rate were roughly in line with expectations of Wall Street analysts polled by Reuters who had called for 210,000 new nonfarm positions and a 5% jobless figure.

However, the DoL did scale back job creation figures from the past two months. It said employers added 17,000 workers in September, as opposed to trimming payrolls by 8,000, but brought on only 44,000 new workers in October, a downward revision from the previously reported 56,000 gain.

According to the DoL data, construction employment rose in November by 37,000, with a large increase in heavy and civil engineering construction (14,000).  November job gains in construction partly reflect rebuilding and clean-up efforts following Hurricane Katrina. 

Professional and technical services employment increased by 22,000 in November.  Within this sector, architectural and engineering services and management and technical consulting services each added about 6,000 jobs. Over the last year, professional and technical services has added 210,000 jobs.
Health care employment continued to grow in November, increasing by 20,000. Ambulatory health care services, which includes doctors’ offices and outpatient clinics, added 15,000 jobs.  Health care has added 263,000 jobs since November
Within the leisure and hospitality category, food services – which includes restaurants and drinking places – added 39,000 jobs in November. This followed declines in the previous two months that totaled 69,000.  For the 12 months ending in August, the industry had gained 283,000 jobs.


Manufacturing employment edged up in November.  Job gains occurred in wood products and in computer and electronic products, while machinery manufacturing employment decreased.
In November, employment in financial activities continued its upward trend, as credit intermediation added 5,000 jobs.  Wholesale trade employment also continued to trend up, with most of the over-the-month gain occurring in the
industry’s durable goods component.  Retail trade employment was about unchanged over the month.  Within the industry, employment in automobile dealerships declined for the second consecutive month, falling by 6,000 in November.  Building material and garden supply stores added 6,000 jobs over the month.