December 8, 2017 – The Employment Situation gives the most comprehensive look at the labor market in the U.S. This report tracks new jobs, additions or subtractions from the labor force, the unemployment rate, as well as average hourly earnings and hours worked. There are implications for consumer purchasing power, spending on goods and services, and productivity.
The labor market came in at 228,000, lower than October’s downward revision to 244,000, but still beating a consensus of +190,000. Manufacturing, construction, and professional services were the main drivers that pushed employment above consensus coming in at 31,000, 24,000, and 46,000 respectively. Unemployment remained unchanged at 4.1%, in line with expectations of no movement. The participation rate also remained unchanged at 62.7% in November. The average workweek bumped up slightly to 34.5 hours, above the previous 34.4 hours. Average hourly earnings came in 0.2% higher month-over-month and also up 2.5% year-over-year in November.
Despite November’s employment coming in lower than October’s, this month’s report surged past expectations of an increase of 190,000. Steady increases in employment leads to healthy economic activity which contributes to growth. Additional people who get jobs are more likely to spend money in the economy which fuels economic expansion.