In its first employment report since the election, the government reports the economy added 146,000 non-farm payroll jobs in November -- a larger number than many economists expected. At the same time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised the previous two months' job creation numbers to lower totals.
Job creation in September was revised from 148,000 to 132,000, and the change for October was revised from 171,000 to 138,000.
In November, the growth in jobs was helped by employment increases in retail trade, professional and business services, and health care. The nation's unemployment rate edged down slightly to 7.7 percent.
The number of long-term unemployed -- those jobless for 27 weeks or more -- was little changed at 4.8 million in November. These former workers accounted for 40.1 percent of the unemployed.
The number of people working part-time for economic reasons -- sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers -- was 8.2 million in November, little changed over the month. These individuals were working part-time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
Retail gained the most jobs
The number of people working in retail rose by 53,000 in November and has increased by 140,000 over the past 3 months. Over the month, job gains occurred in clothing and clothing accessory stores, in general merchandise stores and in electronics and appliance stores. Employment in miscellaneous store retailers fell by 13,000.
In November, employment in professional and business services rose by 43,000. Employment continued to increase in computer systems design and related services.
Healthcare employment continued to increase in November, with gains in hospitals and in nursing care facilities. Healthcare has added an average of 26,000 jobs per month this year.
Little change in factory jobs
Manufacturing employment didn't change much in November. Within the industry, job losses in food manufacturing and chemicals more than offset gains in motor vehicles and parts. Overall, manufacturing employment has changed little since this past spring, the government said.
The addition of 146,000 jobs in November was about average for the year. Since the beginning of this year, employment growth has averaged 151,000 per month, about the same as the average monthly job gain of 153,000 in 2011.