Job Market Update: November 2017

What's the latest with the unemployment rate? We've got the details and the takeaways.

Articles

Jobs Added

228,000

  • Retail Trade

    18,700

  • Transportation & Warehousing

    10,500

  • Manufacturing

    31,000

  • Construction

    24,000

  • Professional & Business Services

    46,000

  • Leisure and Hospitality

    14,000

  • Food Services & Drinking Places

    19,000

  • Education & Health Services

    54,000

5 Things to know about November’s job report

November’s snapshot of the American economy revealed 228,000 jobs were added, with the unemployment rate unchanged at 4.1%. According to The New York Times, the United States has added jobs for 86 consecutive months.

The November report also revealed insights into the holiday hiring season. CNBC reported that preliminary data shows online shoppers spent 18% more this year on Black Friday than in 2016, which businesses were prepared to support with job gains in industries like manufacturing (31,000,) warehousing and storage (8,100,) and most notably, retail trade (18,700,) which has seen near-steady job loss each month up until November of this year.

If businesses were not able to support consumer demand this year due to a shortage of talent, economists say it can be blamed on the hot topic of 2017 – low wage growth.  Wages rose by 5 cents in November, after falling by a single cent in October, bringing the annual wage growth to 2.5%. While still below average for the health of our economy – and barely enough to keep up with inflation – the 5 cent gain signals businesses are accepting that they have to raise pay rates in order to attract the talent they need.

Here are 5 Other Things you need to know about November’s job report:

  1. Talent Scarcity - Employment growth has averaged 174,000 per month in 2017, compared with an average of 187,000 in 2016. According to ABC, this is typical when unemployment falls to this low of a level, making available talent scarce.  
  1. Tax Cut Plan - Economists are unclear how the current $1.5 trillion tax cut plan, which President Trump could sign this month, could affect the economy, according to The New York Times. While some expect the tax breaks to provide a lift to the economy, others fear the lift will crash just as fast: if the economy overheats, inflation could be pushed up.
  2. Professional and Business Services Boom - The industry include jobs such as legal services, bookkeeping, accounting, and management – added 46,000 jobs in November, and nearly 550,000 total this year.
  3. Healthcare In Demand - The industry added 30,000 jobs in November, with ambulatory health care making up more than 80% of that number. These numbers include the offices of physicians and outpatient care centers.
  4. Stabilizing Food Services - Food services and drinking places, which saw massive job increases in October due to businesses re-opening following Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, rose by a modest 19,000 in November. Leisure and hospitality, which also rose significantly in October following the hurricanes, saw slightly fewer job gains at just 14,000.

Job Growth by Industry

November 2017

Unemployment Rate

  • Unemployment Rate

    4.1%

  • Change from Last Month

    0%

In Your Region

October 2017

The Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks down the unemployment rate geographically one month behind its national breakdown, so this month we’re reviewing October’s regional performance.

The Midwest had the lowest unemployment rate at 3.7%, while the South and the West tied for the highest at 4.3%.

West

West

  • Unemployment Rate

    4.3%

  • Change from Last Month

    Flat

Lowest and highest unemployment rates

Hawaii (2.2%) / Alaska (7.2%)

Midwest

Midwest

  • Unemployment Rate

    3.7%

  • Change from Last Month

    -.1%

Lowest and highest unemployment rates

North Dakota (2.5%) / Ohio (5.1%)

Northeast

Northeast

  • Unemployment Rate

    4.0%

  • Change from Last Month

    -.1%

Lowest and highest unemployment rates

New Hampshire (2.7%) / New Jersey (4.9%)

West

South

  • Unemployment Rate

    4.3%

  • Change from Last Month

    -.1%

Lowest and highest unemployment rates

Tennessee (3.0%) / District of Columbia (6.6%)

Why This is So Important

Consumer holiday spending, as predicted, was high this year – and some companies can’t meet their demand due to not being able to find enough workers. The Wall Street Journal reported UPS, for example, is overwhelmed by online orders, asking push drivers to work extra hours, and warning customers about potential delays in delivery.

This same issue could carry into 2018, as the health of the economy will continue driving consumer spending and demand. And with certain generations in the workforce aging-out, talent could become increasingly harder to find.

One way to not only attract, but retain talent, and reduce the high cost of turnover? Raising wages. Large corporations, such as Target, started raising base pay rates prior to the holidays in hopes of hiring on the help they needed. Our Wage Turnover Calculator will help you predict your monthly turnover percentage based on your current pay rates – and how much this turnover costs you each month.

If you’re worried about your current turnover rates, and what this is costing your company each month, contact us today to learn how we can help assess your current pay rates to support your future growth.

Related Articles

Webinar: Managing Multiple Generations in the Workplace

Managing generational differences in the workplace is proving to be a challenge for many – especially when a customer service aspect is involved.

read more