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The number of U.S. temporary help jobs rose by 22,300 during November, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. There were approximately 2.33 million temporary help jobs, seasonally adjusted, in November, up from October’s revised figure of approximately 2.31 million.
On a year-over-year basis, the temporary help services industry has added 169,000 jobs, a 7.8 percent gain.
The temporary help penetration rate inched up to 1.77 percent in November from 1.76 percent in October.
The employment services category, which includes temporary help services as well as employment placement agencies, executive search services and professional employer organizations, gained 17,900 jobs in November, to a total of approximately 2.99 million jobs.
Overall, total nonfarm employment rose by 120,000 jobs in November. A total of 131.71 million people were employed in November, seasonally adjusted. On a year-over-year basis, the U.S. has added 1.6 million jobs since November 2010.
The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 8.6 percent in November from 9.0 percent in October. The college-level unemployment rate, which can serve as a proxy for professional employment, was 4.4 percent (seasonally adjusted) in November, unchanged from October.
The private sector gained 140,000 jobs in November, which was partially offset by 20,000 jobs lost in the government sector.
The goods-producing sector shed 6,000 jobs, while the private service-producing sector gained 146,000 jobs in November. In the service sector, retail trade led in gains, with 49,800 jobs added in November. Professional and business services, of which temporary help is a part, added 33,000 jobs; education and health services added 27,000 jobs. Leisure and hospitality gained 22,000.
“These modest job gains are still not enough to propel economic growth to a sustainable 2 percent-plus growth path,” said Kathy Bostjancic, director of macroeconomic analysis at The Conference Board. “Service sector hiring is the response to some pickup in demand. Income and spending have improved, but from very low levels in previous months. And while consumer sentiment is not as gloomy as this past summer, it remains quite low this holiday season.”