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U.S. Economy Adds 199,000 Jobs in November, Signaling Continued Hiring Despite Signs of Slowing Economy

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Key takeaways:

  • Nonfarm payrolls rose by 199,000 in November, exceeding expectations.
  • Average hourly earnings increased by 0.4% for the month and 4% from a year ago.
  • The unemployment rate declined to 3.7%, the lowest rate since 1969.

The U.S. economy added 199,000 jobs in November, exceeding expectations and signaling that businesses are still hiring despite signs of a slowing economy.

According to the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report released Friday, the nonfarm payrolls rose by 199,000 for the month, slightly better than the 190,000 Dow Jones estimate and ahead of the October gain of 150,000. Average hourly earnings, a key inflation indicator, increased by 0.4% for the month and 4% from a year ago.

The unemployment rate declined to 3.7%, compared to the forecast for 3.9%. This is the lowest rate since 1969, when it was 3.5%. The monthly job growth exceeded forecasts from economists, who had expected businesses to add about 175,000 new jobs, according to financial data firm FactSet.

The monthly jobs report is watched closely by the Federal Reserve, which has been raising interest rates since early 2022 in an effort to put the brakes on the economy and cool inflation. The Fed is expected to raise rates again in December, but the job growth data could give the central bank pause.

Overall, the November jobs report shows that the U.S. economy is still creating jobs despite signs of a weakening economy. The strong job growth and low unemployment rate are positive signs for the economy, but the Fed will be closely watching the data to determine the best course of action.

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