Friday, December 4, 2009

Unemployment Rate Drops; We're Almost Seeing Job Growth

From the BLS:

The unemployment rate edged down to 10.0 percent in November, and nonfarmpayroll employment was essentially unchanged (-11,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In the prior 3 months, payroll job losse had averaged 135,000 a month. In November, employment fell in construction manufacturing, and information, while temporary help services and health care added jobs.

Let's look at the data:

First of all, the trend of establishment jobs continues in the right direction. Notice the rate of jub loss continues to decrease. However,

While the unemployment rate dropped last month, the overall trend is still rising. We need a few more months of data before we can claim a change in the overall trend.

There are some other good tidbits of news in the report.

A.) The civilian labor force dropped and the number of employed people increased. This goes to the method of calculating the unemployment number. The decrease in the unemployment rate was caused by an increase in employment -- not a statistical "method of calculation" issue.

B.) Good producing employment is still down: construction jobs decreased by 27,000 and manufacturing jobs decreased by 41,000.

C.) Professional services saw an increase of 86,000. Health care/education jobs increased by 40,000.

D.) Government jobs only increased by 7,000 -- so this is not a "public sector" job creation issue.

E.) Temporary employment increased 52,000. It has increased 117,000 since July.

F.) Hours worked increased as did overtime hours worked.

This is a damn good report.