H1Base Review: The November 2012 Employment Report

(December 7, 2012)

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics released its November 2012 Jobs and Unemployment Report (titled "The Employment Situation -- November 2012") today , and it contained some pleasant surprises, given less-than-stellar projections by economists. Preliminary numbers show that 146,000 non-farm positions were added to U.S. payrolls this month, marking the highest level of job growth in the U.S. since 2008. The country's median unemployment also lowered to 7.7% (and considerably lower for college-educated workers), which is also the lowest level in nearly half a decade.

According to Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, the United States has now seen 33 consecutive months of private sector job growth, with the total number of positions added equaling approximately 5.6 million jobs. And significantly, the job growth was reflected in almost every American hiring category, particularly in the business and professional services sector, but also in retail trade, construction, healthcare and more.

While Hurricane Sandy did affect a disruption in employment for 1.5 million U.S. residents, it did not dramatically cause any downward trend in the national unemployment or job creation rate. As members of the Bureau of Labor Statistics have speculated, these numbers likely mean that the United States' economic recovery remains on a solid trajectory.

What This Means for H1B, TN1, J1 and E3 Visa Workers...

Today's numbers hold particular meaning for professional-level job searchers hoping to obtain sponsorship for H1B, TN1 and E3 visas. Not only because the unemployment rate lowered slightly overall, but also because the BLS's household data shows that unemployment rates are considerably lower than the national average for workers who have a Bachelor's Degree or higher; in fact, it's the lowest of the four "educational attainment" categories at 3.8%. This means that domestic competition for skilled positions that require a bachelor's degree or higher (Note: a key requirement for the H1B), is considerably lessened than the overall 7.7% unemployment rate might initially imply.

In terms of pure number of jobs added last month, H1B eligible occupations saw a distinct upward trend. Professional and business employment, for example, rose by 43,000 new positions; more than a quarter of the total jobs gained overall. Unsurprisingly, professions in the tech field -- ones such as Computer Systems Design, Software Development, IT, etc. -- were the largest beneficiaries. An additional 12,000 jobs were added to the "Information Employment" sector, with jobs in the motion picture and sound recording fields seeing a marked improvement. Healthcare employment (which also can fall under the J1, depending on a number of factors) was up by 20,000 jobs as well.

What The Report Means for H2B Visa Workers...

This report is significant for H2B temporary/peak-seasonal job seekers as well. As holidays near, the American retail and services sectors in particular are gearing up in terms of hiring staff. This is evidenced by the fact that the report shows retail trade rose by 53,000 jobs last month, and has increased by more than 140,000 jobs during the past three months. Leisure and hospitality professions saw a jump as well, having added 23,000 jobs in November and more than 300,000 jobs in the past year. All of this seems to indicate that peak seasonal demand for workers in these sectors will grow along with consumer confidence, which itself has been steadily improving (again, according to Secretary Hollis).

For anyone looking to take advantage of this good news, H1Base offers numerous resources for international job seekers needing H1B Visa Employment Solutions, TN1 Visa Employment Solutions, and E3 Visa Employment Solutions. If you're looking to get a visa for temporary or seasonal work in the U.S., check out H1Base's H2B Visa Employment Solutions for more information.

Here is the U.S. Department of Labor's Data on Employment Rates by Educational Attainment:

November 2012 Visa Jobs & Unemployment Report

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