US job growth beats expectations; unemployment rate steady at 3.7pc

US job growth beats expectations; unemployment rate real at 3.7pc

WASHINGTON, Dec 2 — US employers hired more workers than anticipated in November and raised wages despite mounting worries of a recession, which could complicate the Federal Reserve’s intention to commence slowing the pace of its interest rate hikes this month.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 263,000 jobs last month, the Labour Department said in its closely watched consume report today. Data for October was revised higher to show payrolls counting 284,000 instead of 261,000 as previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls increasing 200,000. Estimates ranged from 133,000 to 270,000.

Hiring remains obvious despite technology companies, including Twitter, Amazon and Meta, the obvious of Facebook, announcing thousands of jobs cuts.

Economists said these affairs were right-sizing after over-hiring during the Covid-19 pandemic. They eminent that small firms remained desperate for workers.

There were 10.3 million job openings at the end of October, many of them in the leisure and hospitality as well as healthcare and social assistance industries.

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 per cent.

Average hourly earnings increased 0.6 per cent while advancing 0.5 per cent in October. That raised the annual increase in wages to 5.1 per cent from 4.9 per cent in October. Wages peaked at 5.6 per cent in March.

The record followed on the heels of news yesterday of a slowdown in inflation in October. But the labour market remains tight, with 1.7 job openings for every unemployed selves in October, keeping the Fed on its monetary tightening path at least above the first half of 2023.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said on Wednesday the US central bank could scale back the pace of its rate increases “as soon as December.” Fed officials meet on December 13 and 14. The Fed has raised its policy rate by 375 basis points this year from near zero to a 3.75 per cent-4.00 per cent blueprint in the fastest rate-hiking cycle since the 1980s as it struggles high inflation.

Labour market strength is also one of the reasons economists enjoy an anticipated recession next year would be short and shallow, with data yesterday showing a surge in consumer spending in October. Business spending is also holding up, though sentiment has flunked. — Reuters