By Jamie Zananiri
It’s that time again! The November 2021 jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been released, and here’s what they found:
The unemployment rate fell another .4% to 4.2%, for the sharpest one-year decline in unemployment since these numbers have been tracked. Economists are now predicting a full economic recovery and a return to February 2020 unemployment rate of 3.5% by the end of 2022. November had, however, the smallest growth since 2020. (Omicron variant was not announced prior to November’s data collection, but is expected to have an impact on December’s numbers.)
The sectors with the biggest November gains were professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, and construction. Retail, struggling to attract workers, saw another decline with the loss of 20,000 jobs.
Wages are growing behind estimates, but were up .26% in November, up 4.8% from last year. While most groups saw gains in jobs, Black women saw the largest losses in November with 91,000 leaving the workforce. The ongoing pandemic related complications are expected to keep many women from returning to the workforce until the public health crisis has been contained.
The labor force participation rate (the share of people who are working or actively searching for work) did slightly rise after ongoing stagnation, and now sits at 61.8%. But long term unemployment continues to unevenly affect workers of color over their white peers.
Key takeaways? While job growth is slowing, employers would be well served to offer remote opportunities to capture the workforce demographic hesitant or unable to return to an in-office role due to pandemic related concerns. Ensure your hiring protocols include inclusiveness and diversity to avoid missing out on quality workers. Employers need to stay competitive to attract highly qualified employees, and heavily consider training and licensing assistance for candidates with transferable skills but without insurance experience.