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The Employment Situation – November 2020

Updated : April 5th, 2023

In a bout of great news, November saw the unemployment rate dropping to 6.7% despite the surging Coronavirus caseload across the country. However, 10.7 million citizens still remain unemployed due to the economic slowdown and shutting down of several businesses. Several experts also believe that the economic situation will get back to normal only by 2024. 

Meanwhile, the government has to prioritize speeding up vaccinations and public health investment. A quick and effective vaccination policy set up by the administration can help the economy’s wheels roll much quicker than expected. 

Some of the critical aspects of November’s employment report are as follows.

Major Ups and Downs in November

Several sectors, such as health care, professional and business services, & transportation, and warehousing, saw a steady increase in hiring. But the government and retail trade verticals witnessed job losses, forcing these employees to file for unemployment claims. Some of the notable numbers relating to hiring and losses for each sector are mentioned below. 

The healthcare industry saw a total of 46,000 jobs being added collectively in November. Sub- sectors such as the home health care services vertical saw 13,000 jobs added, plus 21,000 physicians got hired, and 8,000 jobs were created for other health care practitioners last month. However, 12,000 job losses took place in the nursing care facilities vertical. 

Professional and business services witnessed the creation of a total of 60,000 jobs, respectively. Major additions occurred under the temporary help services vertical, with 32,000 jobs being added. Services relating to the buildings and dwellings domain saw an increase of 14,000 jobs. 

November also saw the transportation and warehousing sector adding 145,000 jobs. The temporary courier and messengers sub – sector added 82,000 jobs, whereas the warehousing and storage vertical added 37,000 jobs. Truck transportation being one of the most prominent verticals in the country added 13,000 jobs. 

Some of the other prominent sectors, such as construction, added 27,000 jobs, and the financial activities sector added 15,000 jobs. Manufacturing being another vital sector, also added 27,000 jobs.   

The government sector did not perform well and observed a decline of 99,000 jobs, whereas the retail trade vertical saw loss of 35,000 jobs.  

On the whole total nonfarm payroll increased by 245,000 jobs in November, which are signs of a slow but steadily recovering economy. 

Establishment Survey Data

People unemployed for a long time saw an increase of 385,000 in November, jumping to a total of 3.9 million. Long-term unemployed refers to those people who have remained unemployed for more than 27 weeks. 

The average hourly earnings for employees saw a slight gain of 9 cents, and the total amount currently stands at $29.58 for private nonfarm employees on a payroll. All employees’ average workweek stood at 34.8 hours.

Household Survey Data

Workers GroupUnemployment Rate
Adult men6.7 
Adult women6.1
White population5.9
African Population10.3 
Asian Population6.7
Hispanic Population8.4

The unemployment rate by gender is a crucial parameter to judge the current economic situation of the country. The rate for adult mean remains the same as last month, and the rate for women has lowered a few notches compared to October, which is a good sign for a recovering economy. 

To understand the unemployment rate by education, assessing the teenager lay-off rate is vital.  

Unemployment for teenagers has increased to 14% from last months 13.9%, which shows signs of slow job opportunities for younger people in these turbulent times.

What’s good to note is that the white, African, Asian, Hispanic populations saw a decline in their unemployment rate compared to last month.

The Final Word

 The U.S job market has been in a volatile state for quite some time now, with thousands of people across different verticals losing their jobs. But the slow and steady decline in the unemployment rate is a ray of hope for many unemployed people across the many states suffering in the country. 

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