November Jobs Report – Progress Not Perfection

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DOW + 58 = 17,985
SPX + 3 = 2075
NAS + 11 = 4780
10 YR YLD + .05 = 2.31%
OIL – 1.12 = 65.69
GOLD – 15.50 = 1192.00
SILV – .20 = 16.39

Record highs for the Dow and the S&P 500.

For the past week I’ve been telling you we could see a wild number on the jobs report. We did. The economy added 321,000 net new jobs in November. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.8%. Job gains for September and October were revised higher. September was revised from 256,000 to 271,000, and the change for October was revised from 214,000 to 243,000. With these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 44,000 more than previously reported. And that pushes the 3 month average up to about 277,000 jobs per month. November marked the biggest monthly jobs gain since January 2012. So far in 2014 the economy has gained an average of 241,000 jobs a month.

This was the tenth consecutive month of job gains greater than 200,000, and an all-time record 50th consecutive month of job gains. Total employment is now 1.7 million above the previous peak. Total employment is up 10.4 million from the employment recession low. So far this year, the United States has added some 2.65 million jobs, putting the country on track for its best year of job growth since a 3.2 million gain in 1999.

Private payroll employment increased 314,000 from October to November, and private employment is now 2.1 million above the previous peak. Private employment is up 10.9 million from the recession low. In November, state and local governments added 2,000 jobs. State and local government employment is now up 157,000 from the bottom, but still 587,000 below the peak. Federal payrolls increased by 5,000 last month but is still down 17,000 for the year. This is one of the unique things about this recovery, it has not included government jobs, unlike past recoveries.

All in all this was a very good jobs report, but it helps to dig into the details to get a better understanding. First, this is the national report and conditions vary from state to state and town to town. We don’t get a breakdown by state for a couple more weeks, but we know that the October state unemployment report showed Arizona in the bottom 10, with an unemployment rate of 6.8%.

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Moon Kil Woong 3 years ago Contributor's comment

The best news was it was private sector growth unassisted by new government programs. The worrisome aspect was that it was small business growth and factory growth which tends to rise this season and or is a sign the economy is topping off before a new recession. Given the length we have gone since the last downturn, I wouldn't be surprised if it is because of the latter effect.

Marvin R Clark 3 years ago Author's comment

MKW, good to here from you. I agree, the natural business cycle has not been repealed. Eventually, another recession will occur.