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Unemployment drops as US economy adds 199,000 jobs in November

The U.S. workforce has continued steady growth in the face of rising interest rates, which often stifles the job market.
Posted at 9:05 AM, Dec 08, 2023

The United States economy added 199,000 jobs in November as hiring increased a bit after taking a hit in October amid a massive autoworkers strike, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That figure is below the monthly average of 240,000 in the last year, but the BLS said it is in line with job growth in recent months. 

The health care field added 77,000 jobs in November, while governments added 49,000 workers and manufacturing employment increased by 28,000.

About 215,000 fewer Americans were receiving unemployment in November, bringing the national unemployment rate to 3.7%. October also marked the 21st consecutive month unemployment remained below 4%. It has been over five decades since the unemployment rate has remained below 4% for over 20 months.

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The data continues to show those with higher levels of education having lower unemployment rates. Those with bachelor's degrees or higher had an unemployment rate of 2.1%, while those who graduated from high school without attending college had a 4.1% unemployment rate. 

Average weekly earnings increased by about $8 from $1,165 in October to $1,173 in November. Workers are earning about $42 a week more than in November 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. 

In the last year, the U.S. workforce has grown by 3.7 million, while at the same time the number of those not in the workforce dropped by about 500,000.