2020Jobs Report
Jobs Report

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The United States economy added 245,000 jobs while the unemployment rate declined to 6.7 percent in November 2020, improvements reflecting the continued resumption of economic activity curtailed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to the jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The jobs report revealed the number of unemployed people was 10.7 million in November 2020. Notable job gains occurred mostly in transportation and warehousing, professional and business services, health care, leisure and hospitality, construction, and manufacturing. Employment declined in government and retail trade.

  • Transportation and warehousing employment rose by 145,000 jobs in November 2020 but is 123,000 jobs below its February 2020 level.
  • Professional and business services employment added 60,000 jobs in November 2020 but is 1.1 million jobs below its February 2020 level.
  • Health care employment rose by 46,000 jobs in November 2020 but is down by 527,000 jobs since February 2020.
  • Leisure and hospitality employment increased by 31,000 jobs in November 2020 but is down by 3.4 million jobs since February 2020.
  • Construction employment increased by 27,000 jobs in November 2020 but employment is down by 279,000 jobs since February 2020.
  • Manufacturing employment rose by 27,000 jobs in November 2020 but is 599,000 jobs lower than in February 2020.
  • Financial activities employment added 15,000 jobs in November 2020 but is 115,000 jobs lower than in February 2020.
  • Wholesale trade employment gained 10,000 jobs in November 2020 but is 281,000 jobs lower than in February 2020.
  • Employment in other major industries, including mining, information, and other services, changed little in November 2020.
  • Retail trade employment lost 35,000 jobs in November 2020 and is 550,000 jobs lower than in February 2020.
  • Government employment declined by 99,000 jobs in November 2020.

The jobs report showed the change in employment for September 2020 was revised from 672,000 jobs added to 711,000 jobs added while October 2020 was revised from 638,000 jobs added to 610,000 jobs added. With these revisions, gains in September 2020 and October 2020 were 11,000 jobs more than previously reported.

Since March 2020, jobs report survey interviewers were instructed to classify employed persons absent from work due to temporary coronavirus-related business closures or cutbacks as unemployed. BLS and Census Bureau analyses of data suggest this group still may include workers who should have been classified as unemployed.

“For March through October, BLS published an estimate of what the unemployment rate would have been had misclassified workers been included. Repeating this same approach, the overall November unemployment rate would have been about 0.4 percentage point higher than reported,” the jobs report explained.

The jobs report is usually released on the first Friday of every month at www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm. The jobs report for December 2020 will be released on Friday, January 8, 2021. More information about the November 2020 jobs report is at www.bls.gov/covid19/employment-situation-covid19-faq-november-2020.htm.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that spreads from person to person. As of December 4, 2020, there are more than 65.3 million global cases and 1.5 million global deaths, while the United States leads the world with more than 14.1 million cases and 276,000 deaths, according to research from Johns Hopkins University.

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