Unemployment Still At 49-Year Low: 5 Business Services Picks

In November, job additions came in under expectations, leading to fears that economic expansion is losing momentum. Additionally, combined job gains for September and October were revised downward. However, job growth was substantial enough to keep the unemployment rate at its lowest level in 49 years.

Meanwhile, yearly wage gains, a reliable gauge of inflationary pressures, remained unchanged at its highest level since 2009. Jobs gains were led by healthcare, manufacturing and transportation and warehousing.

However, professional and business services have contributed the largest number of jobs over the past year. This is why it makes sense to add stocks from this domain to your portfolio.

Unemployment Flat at 49-Year Low

Though job additions for November failed to live up to expectations, the unemployment rate remained flat at 3.7%, the lowest since December 1969. The level of joblessness has now remained at 3.7% for the third straight month. The number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate experienced yearly declines of 0.4% and 641,000, respectively.

Meanwhile, the number of employed individuals inched higher, from a record level of 156.6 million to 156.8 million. The number of long-term unemployed persons declined 120,000 to 1.3 million. The metric accounts for 20.8% of all unemployed individuals.

The employment-population ratio remained flat at 60.6%, its highest level since December 2008. Also, the labor force participation rate remained unchanged at 62.9%. Similarly, the number of involuntary part-time workers remained nearly flat at 4.8 million.

Professional and Business Services Post Highest Yearly Gains

The economy added 155,000 jobs in November, lower than the consensus estimate of 198,000. Over the past 12 months, the economy has added 209,000 jobs per month on average. These gains have come despite indications from several quarters that the economy is near full employment.

According to Martha Gimbel of the Indeed Hiring Lab, 155,000 monthly job additions is not a cause for worry. Gimbel believes that the United States is still creating “twice the jobs that the economy needs to add each month to keep the unemployment rate steady.”

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