The U.S. economy gained 321,000 jobs in November, the highest jump since January 2012.
In November, job growth was widespread, led by gains in professional and business services, retail trade, health care, and manufacturing.
But behind the headline numbers which will be touted today, it’s not so solid. Full-time jobs declined 150,000 in November, and the labor participation rate is the lowest since Jimmy Carter’s malaise period of 1978.
Workers aged 16-24 saw a 169,000 job decline in November.
Employment in professional and business services increased by 86,000 in November, compared with an average gain of 57,000 per month over the prior 12 months.
“Today’s jobs report was positive in all aspects: November hiring was the strongest since January 2012 with sizable upward revisions for the prior two months, average hourly earnings posted the biggest jump since June 2013, and average hours worked was the longest since May 2008,” said Doug Duncan, chief economist for Fannie Mae. “Along with declining oil prices, these developments should provide tailwinds to consumers going into 2015. Our November National Housing Survey, to be released next week, is expected to show continued improving consumer expectations regarding their personal finances.
“The pickup in earnings seen today, if sustained, will further propel income expectations and support household formation, which has so far been anemic. However, while more upbeat jobs reports are a clear positive for housing demand, they will likely move the first fed funds rate hike closer to mid-2015 rather than the end of the year,” Duncan said. “Overall, recent economic data support our view that the housing recovery will broaden next year, though cross currents from expected monetary policy normalization will weigh on the sector.”
Within the industry, accounting and bookkeeping services added 16,000 jobs in November. Employment continued to trend up in temporary help services (+23,000), management and technical consulting services (+7,000), computer systems design and related services (+7,000), and architectural and engineering services (+5,000).
Employment in retail trade rose by 50,000 in November, compared with an average gain of 22,000 per month over the prior 12 months. In November, job gains occurred in motor vehicle and parts dealers (+11,000); clothing and accessories stores (+11,000); sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (+9,000); and nonstore retailers (+6,000).
Health care added 29,000 jobs over the month. Employment continued to trend up in offices of physicians (+7,000), home health care services (+5,000), outpatient care centers (+4,000), and hospitals (+4,000). Over the past 12 months, employment in health care has increased by 261,000.
In November, manufacturing added 28,000 jobs. Durable goods manufacturers accounted for 17,000 of the increase, with small gains in most of the component industries. Employment in nondurable goods increased by 11,000, with plastics and rubber products (+7,000) accounting for most of the gain. Over the year, manufacturing has added 171,000 jobs, largely in durable goods.
Financial activities added 20,000 jobs in November, with half of the gain in insurance carriers and related activities. Over the past year, insurance has contributed 70,000 jobs to the overall employment gain of 114,000 in financial activities.
Transportation and warehousing employment increased by 17,000 in November, with a gain in couriers and messengers (+5,000). Over the past 12 months, transportation and warehousing has added 143,000 jobs.
Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up in November (+27,000) and has increased by 321,000 over the year.