United States adds 228000 jobs in November

Andrew Cummings
December 8, 2017

USA job growth increased at a strong clip in November and wages rebounded, painting a portrait of a healthy economy that analysts say does not require the kind of stimulus that President Donald Trump is proposing.

Labor force participation and the number of those employed part-time, a group sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers, was also unchanged.

On average, about 174,000 jobs have been added each month this year.

In the past 12 months, 548,000 jobs were added in the category of professional and business services, and almost 190,000 in manufacturing.

USA job growth increased at a strong clip in November, painting a portrait of a healthy economy that analysts say does not require the kind of fiscal stimulus that President Donald Trump is proposing, even though wage gains remain moderate. The last time unemployment was this low, average wages were growing at a 4 percent annual rate.

Wages have grown for nine consecutive quarters, according to The PayScale Index, which measures the change in pay for employed USA workers. Within the industry, employment rose in machinery (+8,000), fabricated metal products (+7,000), computer and electronic products (+4,000), and plastics and rubber products (+4,000).

With the jobless rate already at a level that Federal Reserve policymakers see as consistent with full employment, wages may be the key number going forward.

While the USA continues to add jobs at a steady pace, issues remain. Most of the gain occurred in ambulatory health care services (+25,000), which includes offices of physicians and outpatient care centers.

Restaurants and bars, which bore the brunt of the hurricane impact, added 18,900 jobs last month.

Within construction, employment among specialty trade contractors increased by 23,000 in November and by 132,000 over the year. Workers also put in more hours last month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in November. And the September figure, which were seen as suffering from effects of catastrophic hurricanes, was revised upwards, from an 18,000 gain to 38,000. With these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 3,000 more than previously reported.

Average hourly wages rose 5 cents to $26.55 an hour, up 2.5% from a year earlier, which was below the 2.6% Wall Street expected.

The report follows other recent data suggesting that the USA economy is in good shape. If the Fed acts as expected, it will be the third rate rise this year as the central bank moves away from its policy of keeping rates close to zero that it imposed after the recession.

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