The U.S. economy added 178,000 nonfarm payroll positions in November, according to today's monthly employment report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This seasonally adjusted figure—a significant increase from October's downward revised addition of 142,000 jobs—falls just shy of The Wall Street Journal's expectation of 180,000.
The national unemployment rate declined from October's 4.9 percent to 4.6 percent, while the labor-force participation rate was little changed at 62.7 percent. Average hourly wages for private, nonfarm workers declined by $0.03 to $25.89, following an $0.11 gain in October.
Economists believe October's report was depressed by Hurricane Matthew, and that November's boost is significantly attributed to the return to normal weather conditions. According to The Wall Street Journal, December's employment report is clouded with uncertainty, as Federal Reserve officials will meet mid-December, and are expected to raise interest rates for the first time in a year.
The construction industry continued to grow in November, adding 19,000 payroll positions. Construction jobs added in November outpace October's addition of 14,000 jobs, but still lag far behind the 65,000 positions added in November 2015. The manufacturing sector continued to shed jobs, losing 4,000 jobs in November. Meanwhile, payrolls in the architectural and engineering services sector lost 1,000 positions in November, following six consecutive months of growth.
From the BLS's historical data release: The BLS also releases detailed information subsets of key markets with a one month lag, in this case offering more detailed information of the architectural and engineering services category's response to the broader economy's hiring slowdown in June. The charts below highlight a monthly job-growth breakdown of the architectural services, landscape architectural services, and engineering and drafting services between September 2015 and September 2016. Details of these subcategories' October performance will be revealed in next month's historical data release.