February 24, 2024

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The unemployment rate unexpectedly fell in November as the US labor market continues to impress

The unemployment rate unexpectedly fell in November as the US labor market continues to impress

The unemployment rate unexpectedly fell in November, reflecting signs that the labor market may not be cooling down as quickly as many initially thought.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Show Friday The unemployment rate fell to 3.7% from 3.9% in October, while the US economy added 199,000 jobs, a slight increase from the previous month as striking auto workers and Hollywood actors returned to the workforce.

Economists polled by Bloomberg expected a job gain of 185,000 with unemployment holding steady from the previous month at 3.9%.

Wages, a closely watched indicator of inflation that measures workers’ influence in the labor market, rose 0.4% month-on-month and 4.1% compared to last year. Economists had expected wages to rise by 0.3% compared to last month and 4% compared to last year.

Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate rose to 62.8%, up from 62.7% the previous month, while average weekly hours worked rose slightly from 34.3 to 34.4.

The largest job increases in Friday’s report were seen in health care, where 77,000 jobs were added. Government employment rose by 49,000, reaching the pre-pandemic level. Leisure and hospitality rose by 40,000.

Data released earlier this week showed signs of a slowing labor market. The latest Job Opportunities and Labor Turnover Report, or JOLTS, was released Tuesday. open The ratio of job opportunities to the number of unemployed workers fell to 1.34, its lowest reading since August 2021.

Additional labor market data released Wednesday from ADP showed that private payrolls increased more slowly than expected last month and wages continued to decline. Specifically, ADP noted that the decline in leisure and hospitality jobs in November could be a sign that the labor market is returning to normal, and thus salary growth may be… Eventually slow next year.

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“Restaurants and hotels have been the biggest job creators during the post-pandemic recovery,” said Nella Richardson, chief economist at ADP. “But that boost is behind us, and the return to trend in leisure and hospitality suggests that the economy as a whole will see more moderate employment and wage growth in 2024.”

Construction workers place a track safety barrier signed by executives on top of the Las Vegas Grand Prix Circuit building during a top-ranking event on April 13, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) (Ethan Miller via Getty Images)

Josh Schaeffer is a reporter for Yahoo Finance.

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