November 2023 Job Growth Exceeds Expectations, Unemployment Dips

James Hyerczyk

November's nonfarm employment rose by 199,000, unemployment dipped to 3.7%, and wages grew to $34.10, signaling economic strength.

Non Farm payrolls


  • Nonfarm employment increased by 199,000 in November
  • Unemployment rate edged down to 3.7%
  • Average hourly earnings grew by 0.4% to $34.10

Overview of November’s Employment Data

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an increase of 199,000 in nonfarm payroll employment for November 2023. This figure surpassed pre-report estimates of a 184,000 rise. The unemployment rate slightly decreased to 3.7%, reflecting an overall stable labor market. Significant job gains were observed in health care, government, and manufacturing sectors, partially offset by a decline in retail trade.

Detailed Sectoral Analysis

Health care led the job growth with 77,000 new positions, exceeding its monthly average. Government jobs also saw a considerable increase, aligning with recent trends. Manufacturing jobs rose notably due to the return of motor vehicle workers post-strike. However, retail trade faced a setback with a decrease of 38,000 jobs, indicating sector-specific challenges.

While leisure and hospitality continued their upward trajectory, social assistance and information sectors also saw job additions. Notably, the information industry, especially motion picture and sound recording, rebounded from labor disputes. In contrast, transportation and warehousing showed a slight decline, reflecting industry-specific issues.

Wage Growth and Work Hours

Average hourly earnings increased by 0.4% to $34.10, consistent with the year’s wage growth trend. The average workweek for all employees edged up slightly, indicating stable employment conditions. These wage and hour trends are crucial indicators of overall economic health.

Short-Term Forecast and Implications

The November employment report, with its higher-than-expected job growth and stable unemployment, presents a generally positive outlook. The diverse sectoral performance suggests resilience in certain industries despite challenges in others. Given these factors, the short-term forecast appears cautiously optimistic, with an emphasis on monitoring sector-specific developments.

About the Author

James is a Florida-based technical analyst, market researcher, educator and trader with 35+ years of experience. He is an expert in the area of patterns, price and time analysis as it applies to futures, Forex, and stocks.

Did you find this article useful?