In another indicator that the economy is healing, November’s overall job loss numbers dropped by only -11,000 — less than economists predicted. Additionally, October’s job loss number was revised from -190,000 down to -111,000, and September was revised -219,000 down to -139,000. That’s a sign things are headed in the right direction, but it may not be until late Q1 or early Q2 that the job numbers turn positive.
Keep in mind that while November’s numbers are encouraging, it’s going to take a while to bring those jobs back and it will be a slow build over a number of years. Since the recession began in December 2007, the U.S. economy has lost approximately 8.2 million jobs.
Job seekers should stay informed about areas of job growth and loss. Health care, which has added nearly 613,000 jobs since the start of the recession, remains the shining star of employment. Temporary help services, a category that lost more than -214,000 jobs in the first half of the year, has added 117,000 jobs since July, an indicator of a more optimistic hiring environment. Alternately, the biggest losses in were seen in construction, manufacturing and information services.
Employers are more optimistic than they were six months ago, but they’re still cautious. Hiring will remain restrained as companies see how the market plays out. On CareerBuilder, we’re seeing improvement across most major markets over the last few months as well as in categories that have struggled earlier in the year such as IT and professional and business services.
Here’s how the largest sectors fared in November:
- Construction: Lost -27,000 jobs in November and 1.8 million since the recession. Job losses had averaged -117,000 per month during the 6 months ending in April and -63,000 per month from May through October.
- Manufacturing: Lost -41,000 jobs in November and -2.1 million since the recession. The average monthly decline over the past 5 months (-46,000) was much lower than the average monthly job loss for the first half of this year (-171,000).
- Retail: There was little change in wholesale and retail trade employment in November. Within retail trade, department stores added 8,000 jobs over the month possibly attributed to holiday hiring.
- Information Industry: Fell by -17,000 in November. About half of the job loss occurred in its telecommunications component (-9,000).
- Health Care: Added 21,000 jobs in November and 613,000 since the start of the recession.
- Professional and Business Services: Grew by 86,000 jobs in November.
- Temporary Help Services: Added 52,000 jobs. Since July, temporary help services employment has risen by 117,000.
Want to learn more about the changes occurring in employment? Watch Friday’s episode of PBS’s Nightly Business Report. It discusses the job numbers, catches up with a job seeker who found employment and features Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder’s Vice President of HR .