199,000 jobs added in November, unemployment rate edged down to 3.7%

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 199,000 in November, and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.7%.

Job gains occurred in health care, government, and also in manufacturing, reflecting the return of workers from a strike. Employment in retail trade declined.

Health care added 77,000 jobs in November, above the average monthly gain of 54,000 over the prior 12 months. Job gains continued in ambulatory health care services (+36,000), hospitals (+24,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+17,000).

Employment in government increased by 49,000 in November, in line with the average monthly gain of 55,000 over the prior 12 months. Employment continued to trend up in local government (+32,000) and state government (+17,000) over the month.

Manufacturing employment rose by 28,000 in November, reflecting an increase of 30,000 in motor vehicles and parts as workers returned from a strike. Employment in manufacturing has shown little net change over the year.

Leisure and hospitality employment continued to trend up (+40,000), almost entirely in food services and drinking places. Leisure and hospitality had added an average of 51,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months.

Retail trade employment declined by 38,000 in November and has shown little net change over the year. Employment decreased in department stores (-19,000) and in furniture, home furnishings, electronics, and appliance retailers (-6,000) over the month.

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