U.S. Employers Added 211000 Jobs in November (updated with graph Dec.6, 2015)

U.S. Employers Added 211000 Jobs in November

The U.S. economy posted another month of sturdy job growth in November, paving the way for the Federal Reserve to raise short-term interest rates for the first time in a decade

Nonfarm payrolls increased a seasonally adjusted 211000 in November, the Labor Department said on December 4, 2015. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 5 %, reflecting an expansion in the labour force as more Americans came off the sidelines and began searching for jobs.

Revisions showed employers also added 35000 more jobs in September and October than previously estimated. October’s payroll gain was 298000, revised up from an initially reported 271,000. The upward revision leaves October the strongest month of job creation this year. September’s payroll gain was 145000, revised up from 137000.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected payrolls to rise by 200000 and the jobless rate to hold at 5 %.

US Labour situation

The report suggests employers have shrugged off recent stock-market turmoil and economic weakness abroad, including a slowdown in China. November’s solid hiring lifted average monthly job growth to 218000 over the past three months, up slightly from the solid pace over the past year.

The report is the final key piece of the puzzle for Fed officials, who have made a strong case in recent weeks for raising interest rates at their December meeting from near-zero, where they have been since 2008.

Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Thursday warned against putting too much focus on Friday’s report, and reiterated that officials are focused on underlying trends showing the domestic economy is improving, including stronger household spending, business investment and home building.

The economy “is doing well and that is the reason that it is a live option for us in our December meeting to discuss, as we indicated, whether or not it’s appropriate to raise rates,” Ms. Yellen told a joint congressional panel on December 3, 2015.

The jobless rate last month was 5%, near its lowest level since the first half of 2008. In November, 7.9 million Americans who wanted jobs could not find one.

A broader measure of unemployment that includes Americans stuck in part-time jobs or too discouraged to look for work rose slightly in November to 9.9%, but is still down from a year earlier.

Ms. Yellen further stated that the economy needs to add “under 100,000 jobs per month” in order to absorb new entrants into the labour force. Adding roughly 200,000 a month would be enough to draw back workers who have dropped out of the workforce, she added.

The report of December 4, 2015 suggested some of those workers may be starting to come back. The labour-force participation rose to 62.5 % last month, from 62.4 % in October. Still, the share of Americans looking for work remains near a 40-year low.

The average hourly earnings of private-sector workers grew by 4 cents, or 0.16 %, to USD 25.25, a slowdown from October’s 9-cent hourly gain. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have risen 2.3 %, in line with the pace of increases through much of the expansion.

www.wsj.com


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