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At 211,000, November’s Job Gains Are Strong


The first Friday of the month at 8:30 EDT is widely anticipated by market participants as the Labor Department presents a fresh gauge of the most recent economic performance in its release of the labor report for the prior month.  Today’s number was even more closely watched since it will be the most up to date information on the labor market that the Federal Reserve has prior to its FOMC meetings on December 15th and 16th.  At these meetings, the Fed will assess the state of the economy and determine whether or not it should raise its benchmark interest rate which has been near zero since the depths of the recession in late 2008. 

For November, a 211,000 job gain was reported, near market expectations, while the prior two months were upwardly revised by a combined 35,000 jobs.  The unemployment rate stayed steady at 5.0% and near a level considered to be “full employment”.   The wider measure of unemployment, the U-6 measure, was 9.9%.  Wage growth came in at 2.3% from year-earlier levels.   


A separate report, issued earlier this week, showed unit labor costs, were up by 1.8% on an annualized basis in the third quarter. Over the past 12 months, unit labor costs were up by 3.0%, while hourly compensation was up by 3.6%.   Anecdotal evidence from operators also suggest wage pressures are starting to mount, an important consideration for business plans for 2016.


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

The report suggests that the economy is strong enough to withstand the effects of higher interest rates.  Earlier this week, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen made comments suggesting a rate hike was imminent as well. 


Topics: Research

About the Author

Beth Burnham Mace

Beth Burnham Mace is the Chief Economist and Director of Outreach at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC). Prior to joining the staff at NIC, she served as a member of the NIC Board of Directors for seven years and chaired NIC’s Research Committee. Ms. Mace was also a Director at AEW Capital Management and worked in the AEW Research Group for 17 years. Prior to joining AEW in 1997, Ms. Mace spent ten years at Standard & Poor’s DRI/McGraw-Hill as the Director of the Regional Information Service. She also worked as a Regional Economist at Crocker Bank, the National Commission on Air Quality, the Brookings Institution and Boston Edison.

Ms. Mace is a member of the National Association of Business Economists (NABE), the Urban Land Institute (ULI), ULI’s Senior Housing Council and New England Women in Real Estate (NEWIRE/CREW). In 2014, she was appointed a fellow at the Homer Hoyt Institute and was awarded the title of a “Woman of Influence” in commercial real estate by Real Estate Forum Magazine and Globe Street. Ms. Mace is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College (B.A.) and the University of California (M.S.). She has also earned The Certified Business Economist™ title (CBE) from the National Association of Business Economists (NABE). Ms. Mace is often cited in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Seniors Housing Business, Seniors Housing News and McKnight’s Senior Living and has a bi-monthly column in the National Real Estate Investor.
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