Noha Makram-Live- US jobs rose faster than expected in November and unemployment fell despite signs of a weakening economy.
US non-farm payrolls rose to a seasonally adjusted 199,000 during the month, which is slightly higher than the Dow Jones estimate of 190,000, and higher than the unadjusted October data of 150,000, according to the Labor Department’s report on Friday.
Unemployment rates fell to 3.7%, compared to expectations of 3.9%, with the labor force contribution rate rising to 62.8%.
The Labor Department’s survey of households showed stronger job growth of 747,000 and the addition of 532,000 workers to the labor force.
Average hourly work, a leading indicator of inflation, rose 0.4% during the month and 4% year-on-year. The monthly increase is slightly higher than the estimate of 0.3%, while the annual rate was in line with expectations.
Markets showed mixed performance after the release of the report, with stock market futures falling slightly, while Treasury yields rose.
“What we wanted was a slightly stronger labor market and that’s what we saw in the November report,” said Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union.
The analyst pointed to strong job growth, falling unemployment and a good rise in wages, all of which indicate that the labor market will reach the normal rate of about 150,000 jobs next year, enough to continue the economic expansion, but not enough to motivate the Fed to raise interest rates.
Although the growth refutes widespread expectations of a recession this year, most economists expect a sharp slowdown in the fourth quarter and weak gains in 2024.
Federal officials are closely awaiting jobs data as they seek to reduce inflation rates, which have reached their highest levels in four decades but have shown signs of slowing recently.
Futures markets expect the Fed to stop raising interest rates and begin lowering them next year.
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