USA Unemployment Rate Fell to 6.7% in November

December 04, 2020

Total nonfarm payroll employment climbed 245,000 in November, as the unemployment rate fell to 6.7%, according to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS). The improved performance was due to the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. BLS mentioned that in November, “notable job gains occurred in transportation and warehousing, professional and business services, and health care. Employment declined in government and retail trade.”

Transportation and warehouse employment increased by 145,000 in November 2020. While in professional and business services, employment rose by 60,000. Notably, employment in health care climbed by 46,000 jobs in November. Employment in construction rose by 27,000 in November. Employment in manufacturing rose by 27,000. Whereas employment in financial activities added 15,000 jobs, and wholesale trade went up by 10,000 jobs. However, government employment decreased by 99,000 jobs, retail trade decreased by 35,000 jobs, while employment in leisure and hospitality, mining, information, and other services were little changed in November.

Notably, BLS stated, “the number of persons on temporary layoff decreased by 441,000 in November to 2.8 million.” In November, the number of permanent job losers was little changed at 3.7 million. Also, the number of unemployed persons who were jobless for 5 to 14 weeks stood at 2.5 million in November. While the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) rose by 386,000 to 3.9 million. Moreover, the number of unemployed persons who were jobless less than 5 weeks in November amounted to 2.4 million.

The labour force participation rate for November fell to 61.5%, while the employment-population ratio stood at 57.3%. Nonetheless, persons employed part-time for economic reasons were unchanged at 6.7 million in November. Based on BLS assessment, “these individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part-time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs. This group includes persons who usually work full time and persons who usually work part-time.” In November, the number of persons who usually work full time increased by 752,000 to 124.3 million, and the number who usually work part-time fell by 779,000 to 25.4 million.

In November, a total of 2.1 million individuals were slightly attached to the labour force. These persons were not in the labour force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job in the last year. Of the marginally attached, 657,000 persons were classified as discouraged workers in November, little change over the month. These persons are not currently seeking work as they believe no jobs are available for them.


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