The November 2020 Jobs Report: What is the Current US Employment Situation?
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their monthly overview of the US employment situation and the data for November shows improvement from October after economic decline related to COVID-19. The labor department jobs report examines a range of US jobs data to gauge the overall health of the US economy, specifically the number of jobs added, the unemployment rate, and what industries are hiring now.
The November jobs report shows positive change in the labor market. Unemployment declined slightly to 6.7% and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 245,000, while the number of unemployed persons declined to 10.7 million (compared to 5.8 million in February).
Here are some other key statistics from the labor department jobs report:
- 21.8% percent of employed persons teleworked specifically due to the coronavirus pandemic. That’s a slight increase from 21.2% in October.
- 3.9 million people who were not in the labor force in November were prevented from looking for work due to the pandemic. This number is up from 3.7 million in October.
Although job gains have slowed down in the last 6 months, November brought job gains in many industries hiring in 2020. We saw the greatest employment changes in transportation and warehousing and professional and business services (half of these gains came from temporary help services). Government jobs continued to decrease largely due to a decline in temporary jobs for the 2020 Census and retail trade jobs decreased as seasonal hiring slowed down. Jobs in industries like mining, information, and other changes remained steady. Here are the industries that were affected in November:
Overall, the labor department jobs report suggests that the economy is improving but job gains have slowed down significantly. Due to the impact of the pandemic, our economy is still in poor shape compared to our employment situation in February. To track employment numbers and the health of the economy, check back for our summary of the BLS December jobs report on Friday, January 8, 2021.