BLS: Strong November Job Gains, Unemployment Rate Steady

December 7, 2018

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 steady job gains, with U.S. employers adding 155,000 new jobs to payrolls in November, leaving the unemployment rate unchanged at 3.7 percent — the lowest level since 1969.   

A highlight of today’s report, we saw continued strong wage gains for American workers. Average hourly wages were up 3.1 percent from a year ago, the same pace as October and markedly above the sluggish 2.0 to 2.5 percent pace of pay growth of recent years.

With the labor market hitting full employment, wages are beginning to rise in a wide variety of sectors today. On Glassdoor, our Local Pay Reports show steadily rising wage gains throughout 2018, with pay rising at more than 4 percent annually in tech-heavy metros like San Francisco and New York City. In November, we reported strong pay gains in health care, retail, food services, tech and transportation roles.

Among sectors, the strongest job gains in November were in the fast-growing health care industry, which added 40,100 jobs. They were followed by professional and business services (+32,000 jobs), manufacturing (+27,000 jobs), transportation and warehousing (which includes many e-commerce jobs) (25,400), and retail (+18,200). The weakest job gains were in information (which includes most traditional media) (-8,000 jobs), government (-6,000 jobs), and mining and logging (-3,000 jobs).

Today’s jobs report brings the nation one step closer to a new economic milestone. The economy has now been growing for 113 months, just seven months away from the all-time record for longest economic expansion in U.S. history since the 1850s (a record set in the 1990s).

Despite today’s positive jobs report, there are many economic clouds on the horizon: The yield curve has recently begun to invert, Fed interest rates are on the rise, the nation’s housing market is slowing, and tariffs are putting the brakes on the roughly 10 to 15 percent of the U.S. economy that depends on international trade.

However, despite these risks most economic indicators today are still flashing a green light, and the nation’s job market is strong and growing with more than 7 million unfilled jobs among employers today. It’s likely the nation’s economy will continue marching forward as we approach the new year in 2019.

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.