Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

US Employment Jumps More Than Expected But Wage Growth Misses Estimates

US Employment Jumps More Than Expected But Wage Growth Misses Estimates

The last time unemployment was this low, average wages were growing at a 4 percent annual rate. The largest increases were in the machinery (up 8,300), fabricated metal products (up 7,400), plastics and rubber products (up 3,900), computer and electronic products (up 3,800), transportation equipment (up 2,600), miscellaneous durable goods manufacturing (up 2,400), food manufacturing (up 1,800), paper and paper products (up 1,800) and nonmetallic mineral products (up 1,400). The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, continuing to be its lowest level since December 2000. Indeed, since the end of the Great Recession, manufacturing employment has risen by 1,061,000 workers, with 12.51 million employees in the sector in this report. Health care and professional and business services also showed solid gains.

The U.S. economy added almost 230,000 jobs during the month of November, the Labor Department said Friday.

In November, retailers added almost 19,000 jobs, a sign that physical stores are hiring for the holiday shopping season even in the face of brutal competition from e-commerce companies.

The US economy added 228,000 nonfarm payrolls in November, more than economists had forecast, a report on Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed. Other groups saw little change from the previous month.

The U.S. added more jobs than forecast in November and the unemployment rate held at an nearly 17-year low, though below-forecast wage gains suggested the labor market still has slack to absorb.

In October, Yellen said that inflation was "the biggest surprise in the USA economy".

Over the past six months, US economic growth has exceeded an annual rate of 3 percent, the first time that's happened since 2014.

But wage growth was slow and weaker than expected, suggesting that many Americans are still on the sidelines of the full-time jobs market. "Employment growth has averaged 174,000 per month thus far this year, compared with an average monthly gain of 187,000 in 2016". We didn't quite reach that total, but we got close. The lack of movement in the workforce participation appears to accurately indicate an economy that's still in maintenance-plus mode, not experiencing a boom.

With fewer people looking for work, employers will have to offer higher wages to attract new employees. With that in mind, the White House should refrain from claiming success with every jobs report; instead, keep the pressure on Congress to act by focusing on the realities of this jobs market.

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