United States Unemployment

United States

Payrolls growth accelerates more than expected, unemployment falls

Non-farm payrolls grew by 203,000 in November, which was above October's revised increase of 200,000 (previously reported: 204,000). The reading overshot market expectations of an increase of just 185,000 payrolls.

The private sector is still almost entirely responsible for new hiring, having added 196,000 jobs in November. The largest gains were registered in transportation and warehousing, in healthcare and in manufacturing. Meanwhile, the public sector lost 8,000 jobs.

The U.S. economy has recovered 7.4 million jobs since February 2010, which marked the trough in the labor market crisis. The economy still has roughly 1.3 million fewer jobs than it had during the January 2008 peak, despite the ongoing improvement over the past three years.

The unemployment rate - derived from a different survey - fell from 7.3% in October to 7.0% in November. The reading beat market expectations of a drop to 7.2%. As a result, the unemployment rate now sits at the lowest level since November 2008.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect unemployment to average 7.4% this year, which is down 0.1 percentage points over last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel expects the unemployment rate to drop to 6.9%, which is unchanged compared to last month's forecast.

Author:, Economist

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United States Unemployment Chart

USA Unemployment November 2013

Note: Month-on-month variation of non-farm payrolls in thousands and unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted in %.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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