I wasn’t sure about this morning’s Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Summary. This edition, from November, could have been much the same as October’s, and therefore overall not much better or worse than September’s, with a published estimate of 180,000 net new nonfarm positions ending up overly optimistic. But none of this happened.
The actual number of new jobs as above came in at 266,000, with small improvements to the previous two months putting us at a three-month 205,000 average. The unadjusted unemployment rate was down 0.1% to 3.5%, with the unadjusted one staying at 3.3%. The total number of officially jobless Americans lost 100,000 to 5.8 million, as did the count of those out for 27 weeks or longer, now at 1.2 million, and the number working part-time for economic reasons, which fell to 4.3 million. The two measures of how common it is for our country-people to be working, the labor force participation rate and the employment-population ratio, split between unfavorable and neutral, with the former down 0.1% to 63.2% and the latter holding at 61.0%. Average nonfarm payroll wages had the catch-up month they needed, combining a 7-cent gain with a 4-cent positive adjustment for October to reach $28.29.
The American Job Shortage Number, the measure showing how many additional positions could be quickly filled if all knew it would be easy to get one, fell below 15 million for the first time during its tracking, but with an improvement of only a scattered 24,000, as follows:
Compared with a year ago, the AJSN is down 530,000, the improvement headed by 188,000 lower latent demand from those unemployed, followed by 115,000 fewer apiece from people discouraged and not looking for the past year, and the rest split between five other categories. Only 32.6% of the AJSN now comes from those officially jobless.
How good then, overall, was November? I like the broad-basedness of its advances, when, with unemployment rates not leaving much room for improvement, any gains would be good. Therefore, the turtle, after resting in October, took another step forward this time.