Despite Sandy, hiring continues to rise

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In early November, the BLS released one of its most positive jobs reports in recent memory, “The Employment Situation – October 2012.”

Although many global economists were pleased with the report’s statistics, as 184,000 new private sector jobs were generated in October, others questioned whether or not such job creation would continue in November.

After all, Superstorm Sandy had struck the coast of the northeastern United States on October 29th, resulting in billions of dollars in damage – and possibly thousands of layoffs. Many economists anticipated the hurricane would have a direct impact on employment, projecting the nation would only add between 75,000 and 95,000 jobs in November.

But, to the surprise of thousands of financial experts, the BLS’ “The Employment Situation – November 2012” report exceeded their predictions, revealing that nonfarm payroll employment rose by 146,000, while the national unemployment rate declined to 7.7 percent – the lowest monthly rate of President Barack Obama’s first term.

“Our analysis leads us to conclude that Hurricane Sandy did not substantively impact the national

employment and unemployment estimates for November (as) response rates in the affected states were within normal ranges,” said John M. Galvin, Acting Commissioner, BLS.

November’s data marks the 33rd consecutive month of growth of private sector jobs. In fact, since March 2010, 5.6 million jobs have been added to the national economy.

In 2011, 153,000 jobs were created per month, on average. With November’s figures higher than expected, 2012’s job creation data is nearly matching last year’s figures, as an average of 151,000 jobs have been added to the national economy each month. And, as a further sign of fiscal growth, average hourly earnings also rose in November, to $23.63.

The average workweek – and hourly earnings – for production and nonsupervisory employees also increased, rising to 33.7 hours and $19.84, respectively. Furthermore, consumer sentiment continued to rise in November, as the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index reached its highest level since February 2008.

With consumer sentiment reaching a four-year high and employment rising in spite of Superstorm Sandy, President Obama’s administration remains optimistic, believing the recent trend of job creation – a monthly average of 157,800 jobs have been added to the economy since July – will continue in 2013.

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