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