September 22, 2020

U.S. Added 266,000 Jobs in November. Here’s the Bottom Line.

Mr. Dickey also pointed out that in the food industry, people can spend a lot of time in refrigerated warehouses or near industrial ovens. “It’s cold, it’s hot, it’s wet, the floors are slippery,” he said, “so there tends to be a fair amount of turnover.”

In a newsletter this week, David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds, compared recent hiring to squeezing one more glob of toothpaste out of a seemingly empty tube.

“Over the last few years,” he said, “an apparently fully tapped-out labor market has yielded a surprising number of new workers.”

The buffet of job postings has drawn many Americans back to work. Employers have widened their scope, recruiting people with disabilities or criminal records. Older baby boomers are working past retirement age, and stay-at-home parents are switching to paid employment.

Although it ticked down a notch last month, the labor force participation rate was inching up through most of the spring and fall, driven in part by an increase in women ages 25 to 34 who were getting jobs or starting to look for work. Over the last year, nearly 1.7 million people joined the ranks of workers.

Policymakers at the Federal Reserve have emphasized the importance of pulling people off the sidelines, and the latest report offers the central bank fresh reason to delay raising benchmark interest rates.

A broader measure of unemployment, which includes part-timers who would prefer full-time jobs and people who are too discouraged to look for work, crept down to 6.9 percent last month.

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