Dec 11, 2023 - Economy

Just three sectors accounted for almost all the job growth in November

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals

Nearly all of the job growth in the economy in November came from just three sectors: health care, government employment, and leisure and hospitality.

The big picture: "Job growth has pretty much ground to a halt in most of the rest of the economy, and that is mostly by design," said Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter, referring to the way the Fed's rate hiking campaign has cooled things off.

Zoom out: This has been going on all year. These three sectors alone, plus private education employment, are responsible for 81% of all the jobs created in 2023, wrote James Knightley, ING's chief international economist, in a note.

  • The data may help explain why so many Americans are pessimistic about the economy despite what looks like a strong labor market — they might not work in one of the growing three sectors.

By the numbers: The economy added 199,000 jobs in November, slightly more than forecast.

  • 83% of the jobs created — 166,000 jobs — were in health care, government, and leisure.
  • Another 28,000 workers came from the manufacturing sector — mostly autoworkers coming back from strikes.
  • That leaves just 5,000 new jobs from other sectors.
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