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November Jobs Report: 4 key trends

The U.S. economy added 203,000 jobs in November, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported Friday. The overall unemployment rate has dropped to 7.0%, down from 7.3% in October.

Overall, this is good news. However, there are some factors worth considering:

  • Online shopping is clearly having an impact on hiring. Transportation and Warehousing sectors gained 31,000 in November, with gains of 8,000 in truck transport and 5,000 in warehousing and storage. Contrast that total to a total of 23,000 jobs added in the Retail sector. Amazon alone planned to 20,000 employees for the holiday season this year. Want a temp job for the holiday? Check out Amazon’s virtual customer service center or distribution center jobs instead of heading to your local mall.
  • Manufacturing isn’t dead. The Manufacturing sector was one of the biggest gainers in November, adding 27,000 jobs.
  • The quality of added jobs are mixed. Nearly a third of private-sector jobs were from retailers, hotels, and temp agencies. These often are not high wage jobs.
  • The number of long-term unemployed was essentially unchanged, remaining at 4.1 Million. This is a disquieting trend, because it indicates that while companies are increasing overall hiring, the long-term unemployed (6 months or more) either being overlooked due to their long break in employment or have stopped looking altogether.
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