Hiring Remains Stronger Than Expected

Employers added nearly 200K jobs in November
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 8, 2023 8:20 AM CST
New Jobs Numbers Show Hiring Remains Strong
Workers apply sheathing to the exterior of a new residential building Friday, Nov. 3, 2023, in the East Boston neighborhood of Boston.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The nation's employers added a solid 199,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell—fresh signs that the economy could achieve an elusive "soft landing," in which inflation would return to the Federal Reserve's 2% target without causing a steep recession. Friday's report from the Labor Department showed that the unemployment rate dropped from 3.9% to 3.7%, not far above a five-decade low of 3.4% in April, per the AP. The November job gain was a reminder that many employers continue to hire, though last month's increase was inflated by the return of about 40,000 formerly striking auto workers and actors. The figure came in higher than Wall Street estimates of 190,000, per CNBC, and Dow futures were slightly lower in the immediate wake of the report.

Still, the job market is gradually decelerating along the lines that Fed officials have wanted to see. The Fed has raised its key short-term rate from near zero to about 5.4%, a 22-year peak, leading to higher borrowing rates for consumers and businesses and lower inflation. Despite that headwind, the economy and the job market are still expanding. Layoffs remain historically low. When the Fed meets next week, it is expected to keep its benchmark rate unchanged for the third straight time in light of the easing inflation pressures. Most economists and Wall Street traders think the Fed's next move will be to cut rates, though that might not happen until the second half of 2024.

(More unemployment stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.