(CNSNews.com) - The number of Americans not in the labor force last month totaled 94,446,000--a slight improvement from the 94,513,000 not in the labor force in October--and the labor force participation rate increased a tenth of a point, with 62.5 percent of the civilian noninstitutional population either holding a job or actively seeking one.
(The labor force participation rate of 62.4 percent in September and October was the lowest in 38 years.)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says economy added 211,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.0 percent.
In November, according to the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population, consisting of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 251,747,000. Of those, 157,301,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.
The 157,301,000 who participated in the labor force equaled only 62.5 percent of the 251,747,000 civilian noninstitutional population. The last time the labor force participation was as low as 62.5 percent was in October 1977.
As Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has explained it, the drop in the labor force participation rate since 2008 can be attributed to four factors: a greater number of retiring Baby Boomers as well as an increase in the disability rolls, an increase in school enrollments and general "worker discouragement."
"Disability applications and educational enrollments typically are affected by cyclical factors, and existing evidence suggests that the elevated levels of both may partly reflect perceptions of poor job prospects," Yellen said in a speech last year. "Moreover, the rapid pace of retirements over the past few years might reflect some degree of pull-forward of future retirements in the face of a weak labor market."
Other notes from the November report:
-- Job gains occurred in construction, professional and technical services, and health care. Mining and information lost jobs, BLS said. Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, and government, changed
little over the month.
-- Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.7 percent), adult women (4.6 percent), teenagers (15.7 percent), whites (4.3 percent), blacks (9.4 percent), Asians (3.9 percent), and Hispanics (6.4 percent) showed little or no change in November.
-- The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 2.1 million in November and has shown little movement since June. In November, these individuals accounted for 25.7 percent of the unemployed.
-- The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 319,000 to 6.1 million in November, following declines in September and October. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. Over the past 12 months, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons is down by 765,000.
-- In November, 1.7 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 392,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
-- In November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $25.25, following a 9-cent gain in October. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.3 percent. In November, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees, at $21.19, changed little.
-- The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised from +137,000 to +145,000, and the change from October was revised from +271,000 to +298,000. With these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 35,000 more than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 218,000 per month.