Job Market Update: November

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an unemployment rate of 6.9% in October 2020, down from 7.9% the month prior.  This marks the sixth straight month of decline in the US unemployment rate since the April 2020 peak.  Since 2008, the US monthly unemployment rate has been higher than the current 6.9% roughly 43% of all months. 

However, data for November suggests a reversal of this trend.  The US Department of Labor reported US jobless claims of 742,000 for the week ending November 14, 2020.  This was an increase of 31,000 from the previous week’s claims, but still significantly fewer than in March 2020, which reached almost 7 million claims.

While the US job market has shown a slow but consistent recovery since the initial stages of the pandemic, confirmed cases in the US have regularly exceeded 150,000 over the past seven days, putting renewed pressure on state and local governments to lockdown activity.  Expect hiring to be slow through the end of the year, with an uptick after cases drop and vaccines begin distribution.

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