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November Jobs Report: Lump of Coal in Economic Stocking?

“Government spending is the star of this month’s jobs report” says RedBalloon Communications Director Isaac Lopez on the latest BLS jobs report.  


The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the November Employment Situation Report showing the US economy added 199k new jobs, which at first glance may look like good news for the economy, but a deeper dive tells a different story. 


Key Insights:

  • Tale of Two Economies? Government, healthcare, and returning strike workers account for 77% of November job gains.  

  • Small Business Pains Confirmed: Declines in retail, transportation, and non-strike-returning manufacturing reflect the pain small businesses are feeling in the current economy. 64.4% of small businesses have put their hiring plans on ice.  


“Government spending is the star of today’s jobs report” said RedBalloon Communications Director Isaac Lopez. “77% of November job gains come from government, healthcare (largely government funded), & return of striking auto workers. Without these, we'd be at recessionary levels.” 


This report highlights concerning trends, particularly in industries critical to the holiday season. Job losses in retail, transportation, and manufacturing during the height of the Christmas shopping season do not bode well for the economy. 


Small business owners have been telling the Freedom Economy survey for several months that they expect a major recession will hit the US in the coming year (read the full survey results here).

“While the broader government and healthcare job markets display signs of reacceleration, small businesses appear to tread cautiously, adopting a more measured approach to hiring,” Andrew Crapuchettes, RedBalloon CEO, said. “The juxtaposition of overall job acceleration and restrained small business hiring underscores who is bearing the brunt of poor economic policy in D.C. Because of these poor economic conditions, 64.4% of small business owners have opted for a hiring freeze in the month of November according to the Freedom Economy Index.” 


The Freedom Economy Index surveyed a universe of over 70,000 small business owners throughout the United States, fielding the questionnaire from November 30 to December 5, with 682 respondents. The survey has a margin of error of +/-4.0% at the 95% confidence level. Read our full analysis on the November FEI here.

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