US Adds 321K Jobs In November, Most Since 2012, Unemployment Rate Remains At 5.8%

If the Fed needed a flashing red light that the time for a first rate hike is overdue, it just got it moments ago when the BLS reported that in November some 321K jobs were added, a 4 sigma beat to the 230K expected, and well above the revised 243K in October. In fact, this was the biggest monthly jobs addition since January 2012!

From the report:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 321,000 in November, compared with an average monthly gain of 224,000 over the prior 12 months. In November, job growth was widespread, led by gains in professional and business services, retail trade, health care, and manufacturing. (See table B-1.)


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. 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.

The other notable thing: despite a sharp slowdown in actual wage indicators in recent weeks, the BLS also decided that in November average hourly earnings rose 0.4%, double the 0.2% expected, and up from 0.1% previously. In fact, the Additionally, the average weekly earnings increase of 2.4% is now the biggest since August of 2013. We hope someone out there believes this data point.