United States Unemployment

United States

United States: Payrolls surge in November, unemployment holds at 5.8%

December 5, 2014

Non-farm payrolls grew by 321,000 in November, which was well above October’s revised increase of 243,000 (previously reported: +214,000). The reading overshot market expectations of a 235,000 increase in payrolls, marked the 10th consecutive month of gains above 200,000, and the largest monthly increase in nearly three years. This positive development in the labor market will put further pressure on the Fed to begin raising rates earlier rather than later.

The private sector was almost entirely responsible for new hiring, having added 314,000 jobs in October. The largest gains were registered in professional and business services, retail, and health services. The public sector added just 7,000 jobs. The U.S. economy has recovered 10.4 million jobs since February 2010, which marked the trough in the labor market crisis. In fact, the economy now has 1.7 million more people employed than at the January 2008 peak.

The unemployment rate—derived from a different survey—held at October’s 5.8% in November, which represents the lowest print since July 2008. The result was in line with market expectations. Despite the steadily decreasing unemployment rate, analysts point out that the labor force participation rate is hovering around its record low and wage growth is limited.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect unemployment to average 6.2% this year, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. For 2015, the panel expects the unemployment rate to drop to 5.6%, which is also unchanged from last month’s projection.

Author:, Economist

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United States Unemployment Chart

USA Unemployment November 2014

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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