U.S. Adds 200K Jobs, Unemployment Dips Down

Now Hiring sign at business
Now Hiring sign at business | Image by Tada Images/Shutterstock

The U.S. economy added nearly 200,000 nonfarm jobs in November.

Nonfarm Payroll in the United States rose by a seasonally adjusted 199,999 in November, an increase from 150,000 in October and above the market expectation of 180,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

The sectors that saw positive job growth during the month include healthcare (+77,000), local government (+49.000), manufacturing (+28,000), leisure and hospitality (+40,000), social assistance (+16,000), and information (+10,000). The sectors that saw job declines in November were retail trade (-38,000) and transportation and warehousing (-5,000).

The unemployment rate also moved in a positive direction in November, edging down to 3.7%, with the number of unemployed persons showing little change at 6.3 million, the bureau said in its survey of households.

“What we wanted was a strong but moderating labor market, and that’s what we saw in the November report,” said Robert Frick, corporate economist with Navy Federal Credit Union, citing “healthy job growth,” “lower unemployment,” and “wage increases,” per CNBC.

“All this points to the labor market reaching a natural equilibrium around 150,000 jobs [per month] next year, which is plenty to continue the expansion, and not enough to trigger a Fed rate hike,” Frick added.

The Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate 11 times since beginning its tightening cycle in March 2022, as reported by The Dallas Express. While the U.S. Central Bank held its fed funds rate steady between 5.25% and 5.50% in November, policymakers said they would look toward incoming data to determine the extent of additional policy firming.

According to the CME Fedwatch Tool, which tracks the latest probabilities of rate moves by the Federal Open Market Committee, as of Friday, December 8, there was a 98.4% probability the Fed would keep rates unchanged at the next policy meeting scheduled for December 12-13.

The Fed will release its next Summary of Economic Projects at the upcoming policy meeting, which should paint a better picture of where participants stand with monetary policy heading into 2024.

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