The US Employment Situation, November 2012

By Nick, Floating Path

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has just released the employment situation report for November 2012.

Nonfarm payrolls increased in November by 146k, a decline from the revised October increase of 171k. This is a pretty neutral to negative report, without indicating economic collapse nor booming expansion anytime soon.

The unemployment rate (U-3) ticked down to 7.7%, lower than last month’s 7.8% reading. The real unemployment rate (U-6decreased as well, falling below October’s 14.6% to a still high 14.4%.

The labor force participation rate fell in November to 63.6%, compared to 63.8% in October.

The employment-population ratio decreased to 58.7% from 58.8% in October.

Among production and non-supervisory employees, average weekly hours worked increased to33.7 from 33.6 the month prior. Average hourly earnings increased also, to $19.84 from $19.81 in October.

Unemployment rate by duration includes some negative news this month, as those who have been unemployed the longest are still having the hardest time finding work. Of the unemployed:

  • Less than 5 weeks: Rose to 21.6% compared to 21.4% a month ago.
  • 5 to 14 weeks: Fell to 23.0% compared to 23.1% a month ago.
  • 15 to 26 weeks: Rose to 15.2% compared to 14.9% a month ago.
  • 27 weeks and over: Fell to 40.1% compared to 40.6% a month ago.

The more lasting unemployment dilemma still lies in the inability of our nation’s youth to find work.

  • 16 to 17: Increased to 28.5% compared to 25.1% a month ago.
  • 18 to 19: Decreased to 20.3% compared to 22.7% a month ago.
  • 20 to 24: Decreased to 12.7% compared to 13.2% a month ago.
  • 25 to 34: Decreased to 7.9% compared to 8.3% a month ago.
  • 35 to 44: Decreased to 6.2% compared to 6.3% a month ago.
  • 45 to 54: Decreased to 6.0% compared to 6.1% a month ago.
  • 55+: Remained unchanged at 5.8%.

The unemployment rate for men decreased to 7.9% from October’s 8.0%, while the unemployment rate for women fell to 7.6% from 7.7% the month prior.

Among all veterans, the unemployment rate increased, but continues to be better than the general population coming in at 6.6% in November, higher than October’s 6.3% figure.

The men fare much better among veterans though. Their unemployment rate in November increasedto 6.3% from 5.9% in October, but the wildly volatile women veterans unemployment rate is a still high9.3%better than the 9.5% the month prior.

2 out of the 4 races tracked by the BLS saw decreasing unemployment in November. Something went very wrong for Asians in November, as their remarkably low unemployment rate rose considerably:

  • White: Decreased to 6.8% from 7.0% the month prior.
  • Black: Decreased to 13.2% from 14.3% the month prior.
  • Asian: Increased to 6.4% from 4.9% the month prior.
  • Hispanic: Remained unchanged at 10.0%.

Finally, let’s take a look into the ever-telling unemployment rate by education statistics.

  • Less Than a High School Diploma: Remained unchanged at 12.2%.
  • High School Graduates: Decreased to 8.1% from 8.4% the month prior.
  • Some College or Associate Degree: Decreased to 6.5% from 6.9% the month prior.
  • Bachelor’s Degree and Higher: Remained unchanged at 3.8%.

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Floating Path

Floating Path launched in January of 2012 and explores economic and cultural phenomena. We hope to educate, inspire and provoke.

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