Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 199,000 in November, and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care and government. Employment also increased in manufacturing, reflecting the return of workers from a strike. Employment in retail trade declined.
Edged. Yeah, ok, two ticks is actually a material move, but who's counting.
Here's a nasty piece of work from the first couple of pages:
In November, health care added 77,000 jobs, above the average monthly gain of 54,000 over the prior 12 months. Over the month, job gains continued in ambulatory health care services (+36,000), hospitals (+24,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+17,000).
How many of those were, oh.... nurses?
You're really trying to tell me that out of the 650,000 (roughly) adds in this sector over the last 12 months, when incidentally the change in the population is about +3 million, means that we need one person in the medical system for every 4.5 humans?
How much time do you spend in a doctor's office or hospital? How do this sort of thing make any sense at all? If you want to know why our economy is headed straight to hell look right here and you'll find the reason: Yes, some of this keeps you able to perform work and all of it, of course, goes into GDP but that's like arguing that a hurricane is good when it ruins your town because "look at all those jobs and GDP to put all the houses back together!" Uh, yeah..... no.
Manufacturing employment gained basically only from the returning strikers at the UAW. In fact, ex that there was a couple of thousand lost in manufacturing generally -- you know, actually making things that advance the general good of the population? Yeah, that.
One little bit of good news is that the workweek was up one tick. This is an often-undersold stat but it shouldn't be; every tick there is about 600,000 jobs, so it really does have a big impact.
And, of course as is the BLS' tradition, last month was revised down by 35,000. Go figure.
One not-so-good trend is that people with Bachelor's degrees and higher are dying or winding up in a nursing home (e.g. out of the labor force entirely); that was about 150,000 last month. Despite that, which you would think would mean better outcomes (money) and the employment:population ratio would rise, the opposite in the latter happened -- we were down a tick. Few people who want a job with a degree are not working (only 2% unemployed) which begs plenty of questions, doesn't it?
In the "how's the paycheck?" division private education and health was down on the month marginally; everyone else got a few extra pennies. I doubt it will cover the increased cost of living, which certainly isn't up only a few pennies.
Summary? Neither terrible or great, and the market appears to agree with, after all the gyrations back and forth on the release, it settling more or less back to where it was just before the numbers came out.