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November’s job adds provided optimism to stock markets this morning, suggesting the markets needed a boost. Sentiment coming into the Friday report had a more negative tone, due to the lower ADP numbers reported on Wednesday.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by +146,000 in November. October was revised to +138,000 from +171,000.  September was revised to +132,000 from +148,000.  Since the beginning of 2012, employment growth has averaged +151,000 per month, about the same as the average monthly job gain of +153,000 in 2011.   That means November is about as solid an example of average as one can get.  No worries.  The unemployment rate edged down to 7.7%. Inside the November job numbers, the divide between growth driven by consumer spending, and lethargic activity by businesses continues apace. Many key sectors that led were consumer sectors, i.e. Retail and Wholesale Trade, and Leisure & Hospitality were among the leaders. Construction and Manufacturing sectors lost jobs. Listed in order of importance in November: (1) Retail trade employment rose by +53,000 and has increased by +140,000 over the past 3 months. Over the month, job gains occurred in clothing and clothing accessory stores (+33,000), in general merchandise stores (+10,000), and in electronics and appliance stores (+9,000). Employment in miscellaneous store retailers decreased by 13,000. (2) Professional and business services rose by +43,000. Employment continued to increase in computer systems design and related services. (3) Health care employment continued to increase in November (+20,000), with gains in hospitals (+8,000) and in nursing care facilities (+5,000). Health care has added an average of 26,000 jobs per month this year. (4) Wholesale trade edged up over the month (+13,000). Since reaching an employment trough in May 2010, the industry has added 228,000 jobs. (5) Information employment also edged up in November (+12,000), with the increase concentrated in motion picture and sound recording (+15,000). On net, information employment has changed little over the past 12 months. (6) Leisure and hospitality employment continued to trend up (+23,000). Over the past 12 months, the industry has added 305,000 jobs. (7) Construction declined by -20,000, with much of the loss occurring in construction of buildings (-11,000). Since early 2010, construction has shown no clear trend. (8) Manufacturing employment changed little over the month. Within the industry, job losses in food manufacturing (-12,000) and chemicals (-9,000) more than offset gains in motor vehicles and parts (+10,000) and wood products (+3,000). On net, manufacturing employment has changed little since this past spring. Share your personal view of these numbers below…
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