Job Growth Remains Strong in November as President Calls for More Workplace Laws and Stronger Enforcement

December 06, 2013

This week’s jobs report showed employers added 203,000 jobs in November, dropping the unemployment rate to 7.0 percent, as President Obama called for Congress to enact the Paycheck Fairness Act and ensure the "collective bargaining laws function as they’re supposed to."  Although the labor force grew in November, it remains below its year-ago level.  Most of the decrease in the unemployment rate was attributed to federal employees returning to work after the October shutdown.  HR Policy members report 228,000 jobs waiting to be filled on, the Association's job board.  The pace of job growth over the past three months (+193,000) has been slightly faster than the average monthly job growth over the past year (+191,000).  However, the employment rate (58.6), that is, the percentage of people who have jobs, has barely increased over the past four years after falling during the recession from 62.9 percent in 2008 to 58.3 percent in 2009.  While the job gains in November were broad-based, six industries accounted for 71 percent of the job growth:

  • Transportation and Warehousing (+30,500);
  • Health Care (+28,400);
  • Manufacturing (+27,000);
  • Retail trade (+22,000);
  • Bars and Restaurants (+17,900); and
  • Professional and Technical Services (+17,500).
Separately, in a speech this week, President Obama singled out CEO pay as a problem that needs to be addressed and called for Congress to enact a number of workplace bills to reduce income inequality and increase economic mobility including: the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, and raising the minimum wage.  He also called for ensuring our "collective bargaining laws function as they’re supposed to so unions have a level playing field to organize," strong enforcement of anti-discrimination laws, simplifying the corporate tax code in a way that ends incentives to ship jobs overseas, and empowering more Americans with the skills and education.