by Donna Farrugia, CEO Nelson
Employers added 321,000 jobs in November, a number far greater than the 230,000 economists were predicting. And the unemployment rate remained steady at 5.8%, the lowest level since the recession. College graduate unemployment is decreasing, which is wonderful.
The private economy is booming. The Purchasing Manager’s Manufacturing Index (PMI) based on five major indicators—new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries and the employment environment—shows all signs of strong expansion.
Job gains were widespread, led by growth in industries Nelson supports:
- Employment in professional and business services increased by 86,000 jobs and within that segment:
- Accounting and bookkeeping services added 16,000 jobs in November
- Management and technical consulting services increased by 7,000 jobs
- Computer systems design and related services was up 7,000 jobs
- Engineering and architectural services increased by 5,000 jobs.
- Retail trade rose by 50,000 jobs.
- Manufacturing added 28,000 jobs. (Over the year, manufacturing has added 171,000 jobs, largely in durable goods.)
- Employment in food services and drinking places was up 27,000 jobs.
- Financial activities added 20,000 jobs in November, with half of the gain in insurance carriers and related activities.
- Warehousing employment and transportation increased by 17,000 jobs.
In November, the average workweek for all employees rose very slightly to 34.6 hours. The manufacturing workweek also rose slightly to 41.1 hours, and factory overtime edged up to 3.5 hours.
Average hourly earnings for all employees rose by 9 cents to $24.66 in November. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.1%.
Employment continued to trend up in temporary help services, up 23,000 jobs in the month of November. And there’s no sign of that slowing down. As employers discover the many values of including a temporary workforce component in their overall strategy, Nelson is right there, offering valuable leadership. A well-balanced workforce keeps stress down (especially now around the holidays) and year-end projects moving forward at a time when many are using their vacation time.