Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release
Last Modified Date: December 03, 2010
Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that the
data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Joint Economic Committee
UNITED STATES CONGRESS
Friday, December 3, 2010
Madam Chair and Members of the Committee:
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the employment and
unemployment data we released this morning.
Nonfarm payroll employment was essentially unchanged in
November (+39,000), and the unemployment rate edged up to 9.8
percent. The jobless rate had been 9.6 percent in each of the
prior 3 months. Payroll employment has increased by an average
of 86,000 per month since its recent low point in December 2009.
In November, temporary help services and health care added jobs,
while employment fell in retail trade.
Temporary help services employment increased by 40,000 over
the month. Since the industry's most recent low in September
2009, employment has grown by 494,000.
In November, health care employment rose by 19,000,
including a gain of 8,000 in hospitals. Thus far in 2010, the
health care industry has added an average of 21,000 jobs per
month, about in line with average monthly job growth in 2009.
Retail trade employment decreased by 28,000 in November,
including declines in department stores (-9,000) and in furniture
and home furnishings stores (-5,000). Other major service-
providing industries showed little employment change in November.
Manufacturing employment changed little over the month.
Following job growth earlier in 2010, factory employment has been
relatively flat, on net, since May. Elsewhere in the goods-
producing sector, construction employment also changed little in
November, while mining employment continued to trend up.
Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls were up by 1 cent in November to $22.75. Over the past
12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.6 percent.
From October 2009 to October 2010, the Consumer Price Index for
All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 1.2 percent.
Turning now to measures from the survey of households, the
unemployment rate edged up to 9.8 percent in November. Of the
15.1 million persons unemployed in November, 41.9 percent had
been jobless for 27 weeks or more. That proportion has been
essentially unchanged since August. Among the employed, there
were 9.0 million individuals working part time in November who
preferred full-time work, about the same as in October.
The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 64.5
percent in November. Among those outside the labor force--that
is, persons neither working nor looking for work--the number of
discouraged workers in November was 1.3 million, up from 861,000
a year earlier. These individuals were not looking for work
because they believe no jobs are available for them.
In summary, the unemployment rate edged up to 9.8 percent in
November, and payroll employment was essentially unchanged.
My colleagues and I now would be glad to answer your