There is great buzz over today’s jobs report. The economy added 321,000 jobs in November.
“After more than five years of elusive gains, ordinary Americans may finally be about to see the benefits of the recovery where it really counts: in their pocketbooks and wallets. … For the year as a whole, the gain in jobs, with one month still to go, is shaping up as the best in 15 years.”
November’s numbers cap the best three-month period of labor market expansion since the financial crisis… Some economists said that November’s data — across-the-board job creation, coupled with a slight uptick in wages — has put the American economy in its best position in years.”
All of this sounds quite chipper, given the language used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
In November, the unemployment rate held at 5.8 percent, and the number of unemployed persons was little changed at 9.1 million.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 2.8 million in November. These individuals accounted for 30.7 percent of the unemployed.
The civilian labor force participation rate held at 62.8 percent in November and has been essentially unchanged since April. The employment-population ratio, at 59.2 percent, was unchanged in November but is up by 0.6 percentage point over the year.
There was clearly some good news in the jobs report. As Table B (Establishment data) reveals, there were only 7,000 government jobs created in November, a distinct improvement over the 22,000 created in September.