U.S. payrolls grow while jobless rate holds steady

Payrolls continue to grow in the United States, although at a slower pace, while the national unemployment rate remains at a nearly 50-year low.

Nonfarm payrolls increased 155,000 in November and the jobless rate held steady at 3.7 percent for a third straight month, according to the latest Labor Department estimates. The unemployment rate remains at its lowest level since 1969.

Estimated payroll gains for October were revised downward 13,000 to 237,000, while gains for September were revised upward 1,000 to 119,000.

Given the latest numbers, job gains have averaged 209,000 a month over the past year, but 170,000 a month over the past three months.

Meanwhile, 6 million people were counted among those unsuccessfully looking for work. Of those, 1.3 million have been out of work 27 weeks or longer.

Another 4.8 million people were counted among those working part-time because their hours had been cut or they’ve been unable to find full-time positions.

The labor participation rate remained unchanged at 62.9 percent.

Job gains for November were spread out among industry sectors. Professional and business services and the health care sector each added 32,000 jobs. Employment increased 27,000 in manufacturing, 25,000 in transportation and warehousing and 18,000 in retail trades.

The average workweek for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls slipped a tenth of an hour to 34.4 hours. The manufacturing workweek held steady at 40.8 hours.

Average hourly earnings for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls rose 6 cents to $27.35. Over the past year, hourly wages have increased 81 cents, or 3.1 percent.