November employment

November’s employment data from BLS showed an increase of 146,000 jobs with the unemployment rate dropping to 7.7%. Economists had warned that the numbers might be a little strange, in large part because of Hurricane Sandy. But that does not seem to have been the case [economists has estimated that only 80,000 new jobs with unemployment rate 7.9%]. Notably, employment went up in professional and business services, as well as retail trade, and health care. Employment in information industries was also up, with the category of “motion picture and sound recording” contributing all most all of the growth.
Involuntary underemployment in November continued the pattern from October. The total number of involuntary underemployment dropped again in November by 158,000 after declining by 257,000 in October. The number of individuals working part time because of slack work also continued its decline by 117,000 but while the number of those who could only find part time work rose slightly by 27,000. As the chart below shows, involuntary underemployment, including slack work, remains well above pre-Great Recession level – although the trend line is down for slack work.

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