The US job market in five charts: November’s jobs report

December 6, 2013

Today’s jobs report showed that the US economy added 203,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.0% for the first time since  recession. Here’s a chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate going back to 1990 (recessions are shaded).

The steady drop in the unemployment rate has been accompanied by somewhat consistent-but-not-quite-sufficient job gains. Calculated Risk’s Bill McBride charts recent gains, along with the massive recession-era job losses:

While the economy has steadily added jobs, the percentage of Americans in the workforce has fallen. Below, the BLS charts the labor force participation rate. Clocking in at 63%, that rate is about three points below its pre-recession level.

Long-term employment has been a particular bane of the US job market, staying a more than double its pre-recession level.

Reuters also charts the so-called payrolls gap — the number of jobs the economy has to add to return to its pre-recession peak. At the current rate of job growth, it will take another seven months to fill the gap, Reuters finds.



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Reuters will please adjust their stats to accommodate for the actual recent hiring of 30 hr/week employees to fill the obvious gaps which occur when a 40 hr per week employee is reduced to a 30 hr per week employee. Thus the “increased” hiring is a mirage. For those puzzled, the 30 hr shift has been accomplished to avoid employer sponsored health care responsibility.
Dr Andre Palades, St Pierre et Miqelon, RF

Posted by PALADES | Report as abusive

The thing is that participation graph pretty makes the graphs above it worthless UNLESS the above graphs are set to compensate for the drop in participation. We all know that they aren’t calibrated with each other otherwise the Unemployment wouldn’t be going down.

Posted by BioStudies | Report as abusive

Some good charts, except the last one. “At November’s rate of job growth, payrolls will reach pre-recession levels in seven months.” Come on, we will not sustain November’s rates. At least create a band or something – to indicate this will happen borders on lying.

Posted by kevin2ia | Report as abusive