November jobs report: 146,000 jobs added, jobless rate drops to 7.7%, workforce declines again

posted at 8:36 am on December 7, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The US got a better November than some had expected in the job markets — but only in the top line numbers.  The economy added 146,000 jobs, better than expected if still a status quo result, and the jobless rate declined to 7.7%.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Hurricane Sandy ended up having little impact on employment over the month. However, the work force declined again and drifted back to generational-low numbers:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 146,000 in November, and the unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in retail trade, professional and business services, and health care.

Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the Northeast coast on October 29th, causing severe damage in some states. Nevertheless, our survey response rates in the affected |states were within normal ranges. Our analysis suggests that Hurricane Sandy did not substantively impact the national employment and unemployment estimates for November.

The unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent in November. The number of unemployed persons, at 12.0 million, changed little. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.2 percent), adult women (7.0 percent), teenagers (23.5 percent), whites (6.8 percent), and Hispanics (10.0 percent) showed little or no change in November. The unemployment rate for blacks (13.2 percent) declined over the month. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.4 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The U-6 figure also dropped by two-tenths of a point to 14.4%, its lowest level all year. However, the seasonally-adjusted labor force dropped by 350,000, and the civilian labor force participation rate also dropped two-tenths of a point to 63.6%, almost at the 31-year low hit in August. The employment-population ratio dropped by one-tenth of a percent to 58.7%.

In other words, America isn’t going back to work. Americans are still dropping out of the work force.

Update: The topline number comes from the Establishment Survey, but the Population Survey shows a loss of 122,000 jobs, seasonally adjusted, from October (143,384K to 143,262K).

Update: CNBC’s Jeff Cox is pretty excited by these results:

The U.S. economy created 146,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate slid to 7.7 percent, in a report much better than economists had expected.

Despite the effects from Superstorm Sandy, the jobs engine continued to run, albeit slowly.

But Cox notes the “puzzling contradictions”:

The report had some puzzling contradictions, particularly in its assertion that Sandy “did not substantively impact” the jobs count for November.

Also, the drop in the unemployment rate appeared to reflect a continued exodus of workers from the labor force.

The labor force participation rate, already around 30-year lows, fell further in the month to 63.6 percent.

I’d say that the problems between the two surveys continue to be reflected in the topline numbers.  The bottom line is that a smaller percentage of working-age Americans have jobs and are participating in the workforce, and that’s a big, big problem as we head into the Christmas retail season and the fiscal cliff that will come afterward.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

Why don’t you go ahead and complain to the management that someone is trying to have a serious discussion on the topic at hand and it’s distracting away from whatever your rambling on about.

I’ll be quaking in my flats over the results..

Galt2009 on December 7, 2012 at 12:26 PM

what i’ve been trying to delicately let you know all along is that i’m not interested in that debate.

sesquipedalian on December 7, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Be sure to tell your fellow collectivists (1. One who believes in the principle of ownership of the means of production, by the state or the people) to clean up after themselves this time.

darwin on December 7, 2012 at 12:24 PM

we’ll just wait for the invisible hand.

sesquipedalian on December 7, 2012 at 12:34 PM

what i’ve been trying to delicately let you know all along is that i’m not interested in incapable of that debate.

sesquipedalian on December 7, 2012 at 12:33 PM

darwin on December 7, 2012 at 12:36 PM

we’ll just wait for the invisible hand.

sesquipedalian on December 7, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Well that’s great. Let me congratulate you on being a fine representative for the left. You’ve maintained their high standards of evasion and ignorance throughout this thread. Be proud, stand tall and you too shall enter the useful idiot hall of fame one day.

See ya.

darwin on December 7, 2012 at 12:41 PM

sesquipedalian on December 7, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Instead you want to incoherently bore everyone with tripe like

help me find a replacement for gareth bale in my fantasy team. (i already have david silva and santi cazorla, so i need someone else.) that’s my top priority right now.

sesquipedalian on December 7, 2012 at 11:44 AM

or

i think i’ll take a punt on clint dempsey, what do you think?

sesquipedalian on December 7, 2012 at 12:03 PM

I don’t care give a flying fornication of what you want – is this your discussion board?

This thread is on economics – you made the spurious claim that you had knowledge of such things, now I’m asking to back it up:

Why don’t you explain how the wonderful economy that Barry promised would come to past is going to withstand the onslaught of all of his nifty new regulations?

Are you trying to postulate that “macro 101” informs you that economies will grow under the burden of excessive regulation and taxation?

Further that “macro 101” provides that people don’t try to avoid getting royally ripped off by rapacious regimes?

If that’s the case, show us all the quotes from “macro 101” texts that advocate these assertions – along with the citations and links to said texts.

[And don’t bother with useless wiki articles OR the collective works of Marx – we want real references]

Galt2009 on December 7, 2012 at 12:42 PM

“Puzzling contradictions” uses far too many letters. You only need three: “L. I. E.”

cthulhu on December 7, 2012 at 12:42 PM

INSANITY:

1) CELEBRATING the ‘Unemployment’ rate of ’7.7%’ … when the fact is that so many people who are out of work simply gave up looking for work & now are not counted as part of the job market…

2) NOT counting the total number of people no longer in the work force – those who have completely given up trying to find a job – in calculating the REAL Unemployment number it the country…

easyt65 on December 7, 2012 at 12:43 PM

America isn’t going back to work. Americans are still dropping out of the work force.

yep, the brain-deads that reelected the little tin-horn dictator have no clue what they’ve wrought…more unemployment benefits, more SSA disability claims, more food stamps, more takers and less givers. It’s gonna be a long, long 4 years.

RedInMD on December 7, 2012 at 12:46 PM

we’ll just wait for the invisible hand.

sesquipedalian on December 7, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Typical.

Jabberwock on December 7, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Instead you want to incoherently bore everyone with tripe like

help me find a replacement for gareth bale in my fantasy team.

Galt2009 on December 7, 2012 at 12:42 PM

you don’t understand. once you’re in the top 1000 and have a real shot at #1, it becomes an even more all-consuming obsession. the holiday season is critical, a ton of games are played and players get rotated a lot. this is a real test of your mettle… give me a michu hattrick against norwich city and i’ll sacrifice the future of your children.

sesquipedalian on December 7, 2012 at 12:47 PM

sesquipedalian on December 7, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Why don’t you explain how the wonderful economy that Barry promised would come to past is going to withstand the onslaught of all of his nifty new regulations?

Then explain how the Obamaecnomy is going to shrug off all the new ‘screw the rich’ taxes he wants to impose? Not to mention all of the Obamacare taxes.

And then you can explain what Preezy the genius is going to do when those taxation targets don’t cough up the goods and he has to lower the bar on who gets screwed?

Since you insist on hanging around polluting the thread with addled back-talk I’ll give you a second crack at it:

Are you trying to postulate that “macro 101” informs you that economies will grow under the burden of excessive regulation and taxation?

Further that “macro 101” provides that people don’t try to avoid getting royally ripped off by rapacious regimes?

If that’s the case, show us all the quotes from “macro 101” texts that advocate these assertions – along with the citations and links to said texts.

[And don’t bother with useless wiki articles OR the collective works of Marx – we want real references]

Galt2009 on December 7, 2012 at 12:49 PM

give me a michu hattrick against norwich city and i’ll sacrifice the future of your children.sesquipedalian on December 7, 2012 at 12:47 PM

You already have.
You can’t borrow against that anymore.

Jabberwock on December 7, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Santelli: ‘They Love to Fib About Statistics’
Rick Santelli sees no signs of strength in the November jobs numbers and rejects arguments the economy wouldn’t be hurt by higher tax rates.
[CNBC]

Galt2009 on December 7, 2012 at 12:53 PM

In what imaginary universe would anyone use the number of people applying for unemployment compensation as an indication of the number of people actually working? Is this an agreed-upon fable that no one wants to expose? If so, to what possible advantage? It’s not an unemployment rate at all; it’s an unemployment insurance application rate. Call it what it is. And stop pretending it’s something that it isn’t. Oh, right, we’re talking about Washington where upside down is right side up.

The Labor Force Participation Rate is the only stat that has any meaning in this context.

How in Hades can someone who stops looking for work at all be magically not unemployed? Is this the 60′s? Are we all on acid?

Unless, of course, everyone wins Lotto at the same time and a chunk of America retires to their yachts. I suppose extreme wealth could take them out of the work force but, under USAcropolis, the Greek government formerly known as the USA, we don’t allow wealth so that’s probably not the case.

This insanity makes as much sense as deciding there are no more homeless people because cities crack down on panhandling and we measure the homeless by the amount of change collected daily.

IndieDogg on December 7, 2012 at 12:53 PM

sesquipedalian on December 7, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Still waiting…

Galt2009 on December 7, 2012 at 1:01 PM

For sesqui and her gang of decent people.

This one will perform at the WH for X-mas party.

This is the land of charlatanic thugs and of zero decency. Obama made it so.

Schadenfreude on December 7, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Ed, one statistic that you did not mention, as reported by CNS, is:
“Seventy-three percent of the new civilian jobs created in the United States over the last five months are in government, according to official data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
Sure makes a difference in the concept of jobs created by the civilian labor market.

boogieboy on December 7, 2012 at 1:11 PM

and i’ll sacrifice the future of your children.

sesquipedalian on December 7, 2012 at 12:47 PM

You speak soooo much truth and you’re blissfully unaware of it.

Schadenfreude on December 7, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Sad days for the country. I don’t the liberal trolls to change their stripes and vote for republicans but it does sadden me that they are too stupid (or partisan) to see the path Obama is putting the country on.

Low information voters don’t troll blogs. They read headlines and listen to primetime news in the background while they do chores. They know the minimum that they are fed by a corrupt media.

Liberal trolls are told the reality yet refuse to accept it. I pity your stupidity.

Bensonofben on December 7, 2012 at 1:27 PM

If we can only get 10 million more people to stop looking for work, unemployment will be near 0%.

The Rogue Tomato on December 7, 2012 at 2:06 PM

You have to admit, Obama’s plan to fix unemployment by moving everyone onto Social Security benefits has a certain logic.

Sucks for whichever pol loses the game of musical chairs, though.

HitNRun on December 7, 2012 at 2:12 PM

At this rate, the rate will be at 4.5% by the time O leaves.

B Man on December 7, 2012 at 9:00 AM

..and almost NO ONE in the work force.

The War Planner on December 7, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Our analysis suggests that Hurricane Sandy did not substantively impact the national employment and unemployment estimates for November.

Which is funny, considering everyone in the MSM was running cover for Obama yesterday with the Hurricane Sandy excuse…you know, just in case the numbers showed how bad things really are, lol.

xblade on December 7, 2012 at 2:52 PM

we’ll just wait for the invisible hand.

sesquipedalian on December 7, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Truth is powerful.

Schadenfreude on December 7, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Goebbels, Marx, Engels, Stalin, Pinocchio all orgasm in their graves.

Their ideals and Utopian pipedreams are surpassed beyond any imagination.

Fools, rejoice…may all your heads, and those of your families esplode. I’d love to see your brains splattered, in pain, hungry, in the dark/cold. YOU deserve NO less you moochng pigs.

I profusely apologize to the clean animals.

Schadenfreude on December 7, 2012 at 3:02 PM

However, the seasonally-adjusted labor force dropped by 350,000, and the civilian labor force participation rate also dropped two-tenths of a point to 63.6%, almost at the 31-year low hit in August.

Don’t worry about this. All these 350,000 people won the lottery so they don’t need or even want a job anymore. In the Obama economy there are plenty of jobs for anyone who wants them.

VorDaj on December 7, 2012 at 4:03 PM

In the Obama economy the only reason so many twenty somethings are moving back in with mommy and daddy is because they have so many offers for so many great jobs that they need a few years to figure out which one of those great and high paying jobs to take.

VorDaj on December 7, 2012 at 4:10 PM

The majority of voting Americans don’t care about this shyte. :_(

RedNewEnglander on December 7, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Obama: America on Hold.

The engine of the economy, America’s employers, is idling, awaiting the departure of this charlatan.

tech_sass on December 7, 2012 at 5:54 PM

sesquipedalian on December 7, 2012

…you just get progressively dumber…by the year…month…week…day…hour…minute…second…

KOOLAID2 on December 7, 2012 at 9:13 PM

December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy…

A date which will live in — Infamy?

Not if you’re HotAir.com — or Google — or Yahoo.

HotAir.com posts NOTHING on Pearl Harbor Day to commemorate the horrific Japanese surprise attack on the American Naval Fleet in port at Pearl Harbor leaving 2,402 Americans killed and 1,282 Americans wounded — many of them civilians.

Pathetic.

This website has gone to crap ever since Michelle Malkin sold out to the highest bidder.

HotAir.com — Guaranteed Soft & SquishyOr Your Money Back

FlatFoot on December 7, 2012 at 11:38 PM

NOT counting the total number of people no longer in the work force – those who have completely given up trying to find a job – in calculating the REAL Unemployment number it the country…

easyt65 on December 7, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Wasn’t this reported as 89 million people?

Stores and businesses are closing left and right, those that remain are laying off as fast as they can.

Can we call it a depression yet?

dogsoldier on December 8, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Hot Air

Where good news is bad news

plewis on December 7, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Please. I know many of you on the left are incapable of understanding complex arguments but you using just another fallacious argument is truly becoming tiring.

CW on December 8, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Here is a great quote by Benjamin Franklin that I feel sums up the difference between us and them.

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.

Paco on December 9, 2012 at 11:57 AM

You have to wonder just how long it will be before the Participation Rate falls below 50%?

Another Drew on December 9, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Hide-the-decline-hockey-stick scientific math is being applied to the unemployment figure. The elitist ruling class still think that all the sheeple are stupid. It takes our masters 4 to 7 years of college education to learn how to lie, cheat and steal — doesn’t help when we keep voting them back in.

racquetballer on December 10, 2012 at 6:47 AM

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