Strong US job growth showcases economy’s resilience
WASHINGTON, Dec 7: US job growth increased by the most in 10 months in November as the healthcare industry boosted hiring and production workers at General Motors (GM.N) returned to work after a strike, the strongest sign yet the economy is in no danger of stalling.
The unemployment rate ticked back down to its lowest level in nearly half a century and wage gains remained near their strongest in a decade, the Labor Department's closely watched monthly employment report showed on Friday.
The numbers suggest consumers will keep the longest economic expansion in history, now in its 11th year, chugging along into next year when Americans will decide whether to re-elect President Donald Trump.
The report added to other fairly upbeat data on the trade deficit, housing and orders for big-ticket goods. Together, the improving data appear to validate the Federal Reserve's decision in October to signal no further interest rate cuts are needed for now. The US central bank cut rates three times this year, starting in July when it reduced borrowing costs for the first time since 2008.
US central bank policymakers are expected to highlight the economy's resilience when they meet on Dec. 10-11, though trade tensions continue to reverberate in the background.
"This was a strong report, with a solid rise in payrolls, another drop in the unemployment rate, and decent growth in hourly earnings," said Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial in New York. "The Fed will see this as clear vindication of their decision to stop cutting rates."
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 266,000 jobs last month, lifted by the gain of 60,200 healthcare workers, the most since March, and increased hiring at restaurants and bars, the government's survey of establishments showed. Manufacturing recouped all the 43,000 positions lost in October. -Reuters