November’s job growth was dominated by professional and business services.
The U.S. created fewer jobs than expected in November, but most industries still added to their payrolls last month. Although the U.S. economy created less jobs in November than was expected, most industries added to their payrolls last months — with white-collar companies leading the charge.
In its Friday Report, the Labor Department stated that employers added 210,000 new jobs last month. This is far below economists’ expectations of a gain in excess of 550,000. Meanwhile, unemployment fell to 4.2%. This is the lowest level since February 2020, when the pandemic ravaged a large portion of the country’s economy.
After a summer-induced slowdown, the labor market was gaining momentum. However, the latest number represents a significant decline from October’s revised upwardly revised 546,000 and September’s revised 379,000. The number of jobs available is still around 3.9 million lower than it was in February before the crisis.
Payrolls increased by 99,000 last month thanks to professional and business services. These gains were widespread in the industry: 12,000 new jobs were created by management and technical consulting firms, 3300 more scientific research and 3,300 more development and 9,500 more related services.
There were also solid gains in transportation and warehousing, which increased by 50,000, boosted by the hiring of couriers and messengers who deliver packages (26,800) and warehousing and storage facilities (8,800).
Construction saw a 31,000-point increase last month, with gains across the entire sector: civil engineers (8.100), building construction (10000), and contractors (13,000).
Retail employment fell by 20,000 in the last month, even though it was seasonally adjusted. This is despite the holiday season. The largest losses were at department stores (down 7.500) and clothing stores (17700).
According to the Labor Department’s report, “Notable job gains were observed in professional and commercial services, transportation and warehousehousing construction and manufacturing.” “Retail trade employment declined in the past month.”
Last month saw just 23,000 jobs added in leisure and hospitality, which is one of the most hard-hit sectors. Bars and restaurants saw an 11,000 increase, while hotels added over 6,000 jobs. The sector saw 170,000 additional jobs added in October. It has reclaimed approximately 7 million jobs lost in the pandemic but is still about 1.3 million short of its February 2020 level.
Glassdoor senior economist Daniel Zhao said that the slowdown in November’s leisure and hospitality job growths was a major contributor to the overall slowdown. “Holiday hiring was mixed in transportation & warehousesing and retail because strong consumer spending wasn’t enough to drive steady job growth.”