The unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point last month even as the economy created a whopping 463,000 new payroll jobs in November, mostly in services, manufacturing and construction, the government reported Friday.
The November civilian jobless rate was 5.4 percent compared with 5.3 percent in October, said the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total employment in non-farm payroll jobs rose to 107.4 million with total civilian employment, measured by the bureau's household survey, reaching 116 million.The employment-to-population ratio increased 0.2 percentage point last month to a record 62.6 percent, the department said. All figures were adjusted for seasonal variations.
The simultaneous rise in both the unemployment rate and the number of people employed is not a discrepancy. The Labor Department collects data on both the number of employed and unemployed people when figuring its jobless report.
From October to November, the government survey showed an expanding labor pool while there was virtually no change in the number of unemployed. Thus, the percentage of people without jobs rose slightly.
The increase in the number of payroll jobs was expected to cause some concern among analysts, who expected an increase of less than 300,000. Rapid growth, they said, could reflect an economy that is expanding at an inflationary pace. Consequently, the Federal Reserve Board, which sets credit conditions, could be tempted to force up interest rates as a way to fight inflation.