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National unemployment rate for November holds fairly steady

The national unemployment rate changed little for November, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. 

The department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday, Dec. 6, that the unemployment rate for November was 3.5%, little changed from October and noting that job gains occurred in the healthcare and technical services industries. Employment rose in manufacturing, according to a news release by the bureau, reflecting the return of workers from a strike. 

The number of unemployed persons was reported at 5.8 million, also little changed from the previous month. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 266,000 in November. 

According to bureau, labor force participation rate was little changed at 63.2 percent in November, and the employment-population ratio was 61.0 percent for the third consecutive month.

Some 1.2 million people were marginally attached to the labor force in November, down by 432,000 from a year earlier. 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, the bureau said. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the Household Survey Data, one of two surveys used to gauge the labor force. 

Among the marginally attached, there were 325,000 discouraged workers in November, down by 128,000 from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. 

The remaining 921,000 persons marginally attached to the labor force in November had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.