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Health care a job leader for November


Federal figures show growth across some industries and declines in others.

unemployment meter: © Olivier Le Moal -

© Olivier Le Moal -

Health care added jobs in November as total national employment increased by 199,000 and the overall jobless rate dipped to 3.7%, or about 6.3 million people.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted health care as a leading sector for job growth last month, adding 77,000 jobs. That was more than the average monthly gain of 54,000 jobs over the prior 12 months, according to preliminary figures of the November Employment Situation Summary published Dec. 8.

The national rate was lower than the 3.9% estimate in October and was the same as November 2022.

Ambulatory health care services led the sector with 35,800 new positions, followed by 23,700 jobs in hospitals and 17,300 new hires in nursing and residential care facilities.

Offices of physicians added 13,600 new jobs in November. Home health care services grew by 5,900 workers, outpatient care centers added 5,200, offices of other health practitioners added 4,600 new staff, and offices of dentists grew by 3,100 employees, according to BLS.

Other industries

Among other sectors, government employment grew by 49,000 in November, slightly less than the average monthly gain of 55,000 in the last 12 months. Local government added 32,000 positions and state government grew by 17,000, according to BLS.

Manufacturing jobs increased by 28,000, reflecting an increase of 30,000 jobs in motor vehicles and parts as workers returned from a strike, according to BLS. This fall, the United Auto Workers’ strikes against Ford, General Motors and Stellantis made national news. BLS noted in the last year, manufacturing has shown little change as a sector.

Leisure and hospitality employment rose by 40,000, slightly less than the average of 51,000 jobs a month in the last year. Food services and drinking places led that sector.

Employment in information trades grew by 10,000 overall, with 17,000 jobs added in motion picture and sound recording industries, “mostly reflecting the resolution of labor disputes in the industry.” Overall, information industry employment has declined by 104,000 since peaking in November last year.

Retail trade lost 38,000 jobs in November, led by a decrease of 19,000 department store jobs, but with little change in the last year, according to the BLS report.

President reacts

In his official statement, President Joe Biden touted the creation of more than 14 million jobs during his tenure and an unemployment rate staying below 4% for 22 months in a row. Paychecks are growing and inflation is dropping, according to the White House.

“But I know prices are still too high for too many Americans,” the president said. “So my top economic priority is to lower costs for hardworking Americans. I’m doing everything in my power to bring down prescription drug costs, health insurance premiums, and utility bills. I’m fighting to eliminate junk fees that some banks, airlines, and other companies use to rip off consumers. And now that our actions have rebuilt supply chains and brought down costs, I’m calling on large corporations to pass along the savings to consumers.”

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© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health