BLS Employment Situation Report: November 2016

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that U.S. unemployment reached a record-breaking low in November 2016, with professional and business services leading the job gains. The positive report makes it likely that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at its December meeting.

Unemployment reaches new low
The unemployment rate in the U.S. fell to 4.6 percent in November, which is the lowest level in more than nine years, according to The New York Times. The drop was a strong indicator of growth after relatively stagnant months between August 2015 and October 2016.
The jobless rate inched 0.3 points thanks to a gain of 178,000 nonfarm payroll positions during the month. The number of unemployed people fell to 7.4 million, declining by 387,000. The BLS noted that average monthly employment growth for 2016 has been 180,000 positions.

The employment-population ratio and the labor force participation rate were both relatively unchanged in November, at 59.7 percent and 62.7 percent, respectively.

Gains across industries
Professional and business services led the November employment gains, adding 63,000 positions and bringing over-the-year gains to 571,000. Administrative and support services gained 36,000 jobs, while accounting and bookkeeping gained 18,000 positions.
Construction had another strong month for employment, adding 19,000 jobs with the majority of those for residential specialty trade contractors.

Healthcare also registered growth, adding 28,000 positions during the month and bringing its total gains in the past year to 407,000 jobs. The majority of growth was seen within ambulatory healthcare services.

Interest rate increase likely
The strong employment report makes it likely that the Federal Reserve will hike up interest rates later this month. At its meeting in October, the Fed stated that they would go ahead with an increase "so long as incoming data provided some further evidence of continued progress," The New York Times reported.


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