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Health care adds jobs for November

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National unemployment rate hovers at 3.5% to 3.7% since March, according to latest government figures.

Health care was the second leading sector in adding jobs in November, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The November unemployment rate held steady at 3.7% as total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 263,000 jobs. Other notable gains occurred in leisure and hospitality and government, while employment declined in retail trade and in transportation and warehousing, the BLS report said.

The national jobless rate has hovered in the 3.5% to 3.7% range since March and the number of unemployed adults essentially was unchanged at 6 million for November, the report said.

Health care sector

Health care employment grew by 45,000 jobs last month, with gains in ambulatory health care services (23,000 jobs), hospitals (11,000 jobs), and nursing and residential care facilities (10,000 jobs). So far this year, health care employment has increased by an average of 47,000 jobs a month, topping the 2021 average monthly employment gain of 9,000, according to BLS.

Home health care services and outpatient care centers both added 6,600 positions month to month. Offices of other health practitioners added 2,700 jobs, while dentists’ offices added 1,800 jobs and offices of physicians added 1,500 new posts, according to the BLS data.

Other gains

Leisure and hospitality was a leading sector in November, adding 88,000 jobs, with 62,000 in food services and drinking places. Leisure and hospitality has added an average of 82,000 jobs a month this year, less than half the average gain of 196,000 jobs a month in 2021. Employment in that sector remains down 980,000 jobs, or 5.8%, from the pre-pandemic level of February 2020.

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Local governments added 32,000 jobs in November, accounting for much of the sector’s gain of 42,000 jobs total. Government employment has increased an average of 25,000 a month this year, compared to 38,000 a month in 2021. Since February 2020, total government employment is down 461,000 jobs, or 2%, according to BLS figures.

Employment in other services grew by 24,000 jobs, with personal and laundry services adding 11,000 positions in November. That sector has added an average of 15,000 jobs a month so far in 2022, down from 24,000 jobs a month last year. Other services employment remains down 186,000 jobs, or 3.1%, from the February 2020 level.

Construction employment continued trending up in November with a total of 20,000 jobs, including 8,000 jobs in nonresidential building. Construction has added an average of 19,000 jobs per month thus far this year, little different from the 2021 average of 16,000 per month, the BLS report said.

Employment in information rose by 19,000 jobs in November. Employment in the industry has increased by an average of 14,000 per month thus far this year, in line with the average of 16,000 per month in 2021, the BLS report said.

Manufacturing employment added 14,000 jobs in November. Job growth has averaged 34,000 per month thus far this year, little different from the 2021 average of 30,000 per month, according to BLS.

Financial activities employment in continued its upward trend, adding 14,000 jobs last month. Job gains totaled 13,000 in real estate and rental and leasing and 6,000 in securities, commodity contracts, and investments, but those were were partially offset by a decline in credit intermediation and related activities, which lost 9,000 positions. Employment in financial activities has increased by an average of 12,000 per month thus far this year, the same as in 2021, the BLS report said.

Retail trade declined by 30,000 jobs in November. Job losses in general merchandise stores (-32,000), electronics and appliance stores (-4,000), and furniture and home furnishings stores (-3,000) were partially offset by a job gain in motor vehicle and parts dealers, which added 10,000 jobs. Retail trade employment has fallen by 62,000 since August, according to BLS.

Notable declines

Employment in transportation and warehousing declined by 15,000 in November and has

decreased by 38,000 since July. In November, job losses in warehousing and storage (-13,000) and in couriers and messengers (-12,000) were partially offset by a job gain in air transportation, which added 4,000 jobs.

Employment in professional and business services added 6,000 jobs, but changed little in November. Within the industry, professional and technical services added 28,000 jobs, while business support services lost 11,000 jobs. Monthly job growth in professional and business services has averaged 58,000 in 2022, down from 94,000 per month in 2021, the BLS report said.

Holding steady

BLS reported a number of categories showed little to no change month-to-month in November, or for the year.

Unemployment rates for major worker groups, such as adult men (3.4%) and women (3.3%), teens (11.3%), Whites (3.2%), Blacks (5.7%), Asians (2.7%), and Hispanics (3.9%); the numbers of temporary layoffs (803,000); long-term unemployed (1.2 million); the labor force participation rate (62.1%), and the employment-population ratio (59.1%), all were steady in November. Permanent job losers grew by 127,000 to 1.4 million, according to the BLS figures.


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