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Unemployment rate drops, but labor participation remains a factor

Unemployment Benefits
Posted at 8:52 AM, Dec 02, 2022

The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 3.7% in November, but fewer people were participating in the workforce during the month, according to new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.

The unemployment rate has remained between 3.5% and 3.7% since March. The unemployment rate has remained low despite high inflation, which has caused companies to spend more.

Although the civilian noninstitutional population, which is a measure of Americans over the age of 16 who are not incarcerated, increased by 173,000 in November, there were 186,000 fewer workers in the civilian workforce.

The result is the labor participation rate dropped .1% to 62.2%.

Hourly wages saw a modest bump to an average of $32.82, an 18-cent increase to October. Wages are up $1.59 over the last year. Wages increased about 5 percent from this time a year ago, but the Consumer Price Index has jumped 7.7% in the last year, indicating wages are not keeping up with the cost of living.

Meanwhile, employers added 263,000 jobs in November, a decline of about 21,000 in October. A year ago, employers added 647,000 jobs in the month of November.

The leisure and hospitality industry, the field most largely impacted by losses after the COVID-19 pandemic, jumped over 16 million workers for the first time since the pandemic. It has gained over 1 million employees back in the last year. The industry had nearly 17 million employees when the pandemic started, quickly dropping to only 8.7 million within two months.