Employment for November Beats Predictions

December 8, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Non-farm payroll employment jumped to 132,000 in November, topping the small 51,000 increase the month before, according to the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The BLS number was more robust than the 110,000 added jobs that economists predicted, according to Reuters. The unemployment rate was nearly stagnant at 4.5%, up slightly from the 4.4% rate in October (See Job Growth Nearly Stagnant, Unemployment Drops ).

Examining job sectors, professional and business services employment increased by 43,000 during the month and has risen by 426,000 over the year, and employment in temporary help services was flat over the month and has wavered little since January. 

Health care employment climbed by 28,000 jobs, with hospitals and doctors’ offices each adding 6,000 jobs. Over the year, health care employment has increased by 309,000.

Employment also continued its upward climb in food services and drinking places, adding 34,000 jobs in November and bringing the total job gains over the last 12 months to 295,000.

Employment in wholesale trade continued to trend up for the month, rising by 288,000 since its most recent low in August 2003. Retail trade also added jobs in clothing and accessory stores; health and personal care stores; sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores; and non-store retailers (which include catalog and Internet retailers). General merchandise stores continued to lose jobs, and were down 12,000 since August 2005.  

Mining employment grew by 4,000 in November, with gains in support activities for oil and gas.  Employment in this industry has grown by 136,000 since its most recent low in April 2003. 

Construction employment declined by 29,000 in November, following a loss of similar size in October, with the decline spanning all of the component industries.