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US Economy Adds Over 250,00 New Jobs In November As Inflation Begins To Slow

The US Economy added 263,000 jobs in November, defying aggressive action from the Federal Reserve to cool the economy and bring down decades-high inflation. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%, according to the Labor Department, which released the latest monthly jobs snapshot on December 2. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv had expected the pace of hiring to slow to a gain of only 200,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate to stay flat at 3.7%. Some of the largest monthly job gains were in the leisure and hospitality sector, as well as health care. The hot jobs report also showed an unexpected spike in average hourly earnings, another knock against the Fed’s efforts to rein in inflation by cooling demand. Officials at the central bank have expressed concern about rising wages keeping inflation elevated.

In November, average hourly earnings increased 0.6% from the month before and 5.1% year over year. Economists were expecting those rates of increases to slow from October, where they increased by a revised 0.5% month-over-month and 4.9% year-over-year. “The November employment report delivers a holiday season package of good news for American workers, including a strong increase in wages,” said Mark Hamrick, Bankrate senior economist, in a statement. “In keeping with the classic divide sometimes seen between Main Street and Wall Street, the report tells the Federal Reserve it has more work to do in its battle against inflation.”

The picture of the labor market is becoming more mixed, reflecting a number of forces at play, said Sophia Koropeckyj, managing director at Moody’s Analytics. “First, the tight labor market has definitely limited holiday hiring, but employers are also hiring more cautiously given the uncertainty about the strength of consumer spending,” she wrote in a note Friday. “In addition, employers may be more cautious in order to support margins amid rising labor and material costs. Some interest-rate sensitive industries have also been pulling back. It should be noted that pulling back does not necessarily mean laying off workers. It can mean more cautious hiring. This explains in part the low number layoffs and low unemployment rate.” 

The November jobs report report also contained significant revisions: September was revised down by 46,000 to 269,000 jobs, and October was revised up by 23,000 jobs to 284,000. Considering those updates, November’s monthly gain, which remains considerably above pre-pandemic monthly averages, is now the lowest total jobs added since April 2021. Still, that might not bring much solace to the Fed, which has raised its benchmark lending rate by 3.75 percentage points this year in hopes of cooling off demand and bringing down white-hot inflation. While some areas of the economy show the effects of the Fed’s actions, home sales have fallen and inflation rates are starting to slow, the labor market has remained robust in its efforts to continue to recover jobs lost during the pandemic and adjust to continued strong consumer spending, especially in services.

The November employment report marks the very last jobs report before the Fed’s next meeting on December 13-14, when officials are expected to raise rates by half a percentage point, slightly lower than in the four previous meetings. And the hot jobs report is unlikely to shift the Fed away from that intention to moderate its pace of increases, said Angelo Kourkafas, investment strategist at Edward Jones. “But what it does is it potentially dashes some of the hopes that the Fed will be cutting rates any time soon,” he told CNN Business. “We’re not there yet.”

Matthew Rosehttp://ourpolitics.net
Matt studies and analyzes politics at all levels. He is the creator of OurPolitics.net, a scholarly resource exploring political trends, political theory, political economy, philosophy, and more. He hopes that his articles can encourage more people to gain knowledge about politics and understand the impact that public policy decisions have on their lives. Matt is also involved in the preservation of recorded sound through IASA International Bibliography of Discographies, and is an avid record collector.

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