Employers added 215,000 jobs to their payrolls in November, up significantly
from revised job gains of 17,000 in September and 44,000 in October, according
to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.
The unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.0 percent.
Beginning in October, the bureau added questions to one of its surveys to identify
people who evacuated from their homes, even temporarily, due to Hurricane Katrina.
Data collected through these questions do not represent all evacuees; persons
living outside of the scope of the survey--such as those living in hotels or
shelters-are not included.
The questions were asked of persons in the survey sample throughout the country,
since some evacuees relocated far from the storm-affected areas.
Information gathered in November showed that about 900,000 persons age 16 and
over had evacuated from where they were living in August due to Hurricane Katrina.
These evacuees either had returned to their homes or were living in other residential
units covered in the survey in November. Half of the evacuees had returned to
their August 2005 residences.
Of all evacuees identified, 55.2 percent were in the labor force in November.
The unemployment rate for people identified as evacuees was 20.5 percent; it
was much higher for those who had not returned home (27.8 percent) than for
those who had returned (12.5 percent).
Meanwhile, average hourly earnings of production or nonsupervisory workers
on private payrolls rose by 3 cents in November to $16.32. This followed an
increase of 10 cents (as revised) in October. Average weekly earnings decreased
by 0.1 percent over the month to $549.98. Over the year, both average hourly
and weekly earnings increased by 3.2 percent.