Economy Watch: Econony Adds 178K Jobs in November

The national unemployment rate also dropped to 4.6 percent, the lowest it's been since before the recession.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The U.S. economy created 178,000 jobs in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, with the national headline unemployment rate dropping to 4.6 percent, the lowest its been since before the recession (since August 2007). November’s rate of job growth is almost exactly in line with average monthly growth in 2016, which has been 180,000 per month, compared with an average monthly increase of 229,000 in 2015. The report probably isn’t going to derail any plans by the Fed to raise interest rates later this month (if that is in fact in the works).

The number of jobs in industries that drive certain kinds of real estate absorption turned in reasonably good numbers for the month. For instance, employment in professional and business services, a driver of office space use, rose by 63,000 in November and has risen by 571,000 over the year, noted the BLS. Employment continued to trend up in administrative and support services (gaining 36,000); computer systems design and related services (up 5,000); and management and technical consulting services (up 4,000).

Health care employment rose by 28,000 in November. Over the past 12 months, the sector has added 407,000 jobs, some of which will probably drive demand for former retail space, as new clinics and other care facilities open in smaller, community-oriented locations. Employment in construction continued on its recent upward trend in November (up 19,000), with a gain in residential specialty trade contractors (up 15,000). Over the past three months, construction has added 59,000 jobs, largely in residential construction.

Employment in other major industries, such as mining (that includes oil and gas), manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government, didn’t change much in November. The bureau’s alternate measurement of the unemployment rate, U-6, which is more comprehensive than the headline rate, came in at 9.3 percent. It too is improving. In October, the rate was 9.5 percent, and in November 2015, it was 9.9 percent.