The labor market weathered Hurricane Sandy better than expected, adding 146,000 jobs in November. Job creation was expected to see a much larger impact from the hurricane. November’s strength suggests that the labor market fundamentals are strong enough to continue improving even in the face of adversity.
November’s report was not all good news however, as October and September job growth was revised down by a total of 49,000 jobs. Much of the revision, however, was a result of weaker than expected government job creation. In October, the government sector shed 51,000 jobs, up from the initially reported 12,000. September’s revisions saw the government sector lose an additional 10,000 jobs as well.
The service sector continues to be the primary driver behind job creation, adding 168,000 jobs in November, its strongest level since August. The goods producing sector shed 22,000 jobs in November and has now done so for three of the past four months.
The public sector presented a smaller drag to Job growth in November, shedding just 1,000 jobs. In October it shed 51,000 jobs.
The unemployment rate fell 0.2% in November, reaching 7.7 %, its lowest level since December 2008. November’s drop in the unemployment rate was a direct result of a shrinking labor force, which dropped by 350,000. It is possible the drop in labor force is due to impact from Hurricane Sandy. The decline led the labor force participation rate to fall further to 63.6%.
Read the BLS release.