U.S. Job Growth Exceeds Estimates In November, Unemployment Rate Unexpectedly Dips

Employment in the U.S. increased by more than expected in the month of November, according to a highly anticipated report released by the Labor Department on Friday.

The report said non-farm payroll employment jumped by 199,000 jobs in November after rising by 150,000 jobs in October. Economists had expected employment to climb by 180,000 jobs.

The stronger than expected job growth partly reflected a notable increase in employment in the health care and social assistance sector, which added 93,200 jobs.

Employment in the manufacturing sector also rebounded, reflecting the return of workers from a strike, while employment in the retail sector declined.

The Labor Department also said the unemployment rate dipped to 3.7 percent in November from 3.9 percent in October. The unemployment rate was expected to remain unchanged.

The unexpected decrease by the unemployment rate came as the household survey measure of employment spiked by 747,000 persons, outpacing a 532,000 person surge in the size of the labor force.

The report also said average hourly employee earnings rose by $0.12 or 0.4 percent to $34.10 in November.

The annual rate of wage growth came in at 4.0 percent in November, unchanged from the downwardly revised level in October.

Economists had expected the pace of wage growth to edge down to 4.0 percent from the 4.1 percent originally reported for the previous month.

“Interest rates jumped in response to this report, as job market strength may be enough to keep the Fed cautious with respect to any comments regarding the path for rates at their December meeting,” said Mortgage Bankers Association SVP and Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni.

“Inflation is declining, but further declines are likely dependent upon some slowing in the job market,” he added. “We continue to forecast that the Fed will begin to cut rates in the spring of 2024, as job market trends are likely to weaken from here.”

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