Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.6%
The BLS today released the Employment Situation Summary for November 2011, which showed private sector job creation (as measured by the Establishment Survey) of 140,000 and an unemployment rate of 8.6% (U-3, U-6 fell from 16.2 to 15.6% as well). The internals of the report were somewhat mixed, as the Establishment Survey showed relatively modest job creation (although September was revised up again to +210k an increase of 52,000 and October was revised up by 20k to 100k), while the Household Survey showed relatively robust job creation of 278,000 and a decline in the unemployed of 594,000. This good news was somewhat offset by an decrease in the labor force of 315,000, which gets us to our 8.6% U-3 unemployment rate.
Overall, this report will only be a good one if the unemployment rate doesn’t subsequently rise in future months and if the job creation can continue to expand (in either survey). I would personally also like the BLS to start adding some data to the Household Survey on those leaving the labor force, so that each month we can see a breakdown between retirements/returning to school/staying home with kids/etc.
I just wanted to update with a bit more data from the report (this table wouldn’t load for me earlier), but once again virtually all of the job gains (in the Household Survey) were for those with some college or higher. We are simply having no luck creating jobs for those with only high school educations or less.