Economy Adds 228,000 New Jobs in November


December 8, 2017

The latest jobs numbers are out from the federal government. What do they mean for job seekers and employers? Here’s a quick take from Glassdoor’s Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain:

This morning’s jobs report revealed another month of positive job gains for the U.S. economy, with employers adding 228,000 new jobs to payrolls and the unemployment rate steady at 4.1 percent — a 17-year-low. Today marks the 86th consecutive month of positive job gains, an unprecedented streak since the 1930s.

As expected, this month the BLS revised upward the initial -33,000 job losses of September following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to +38,000 jobs created. That’s the same pattern we observed after Hurricane Katrina back in 2005, as BLS surveys are often volatile during large weather events.

Wages continued to stagnate in November, with average hourly earnings of workers up just 2.5 percent from a year ago. Wage growth has been largely unchanged for the past year, and is well below the 3-4 percent growth we’d normally expect given today’s roughly 2 percent inflation and 1.5 percent labor productivity growth. In Glassdoor’s Local Pay Reports, median base pay for full-time American workers was up just 1.2 percent from a year ago in November.

The industry adding the most jobs in November was the nation’s fast-growing professional and business services sector (+46,000 jobs), followed by healthcare (+40,500 jobs), manufacturing (+31,000 jobs), construction (+24,000 jobs) and retail (+18,700 jobs). The industries with the weakest job growth in November were information (which includes most traditional media) (-4,000 jobs), utilities (-200 jobs), motor vehicles and parts (+1,700 jobs) and wholesale trade (+3,400 jobs).

With unemployment at a 17-year low, these are good times for job seekers. For that reason, now’s an ideal time to plan ahead for what promises to be an eventual economic slowdown — shoring up savings, reining in consumer debt, and polishing up resumes for when it’s time for workers to move on to the next stage of their careers.

To speak with Dr. Andrew Chamberlain about today’s jobs report or to discuss labor market trends, contact pr at Glassdoor dot com. For the latest economics and labor market updates, follow @adchamberlain on Twitter and subscribe to Glassdoor Economic Research.