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Expand chart
Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 155,000 jobs in November, less than the 195,000 expected, while the unemployment rate held at 3.7%, a half-century low, the Labor Department said on Friday. Wages grew 3.1% year-over-year — the same pace as in October.

Between the lines: The job market remains strong, but the pace of job growth slowed in November as compared to the average monthly gain of 209,000 jobs in the past year. However, as Justin Wolfers, an economics professor at the University of Michigan points out, "this pace of expansion is more likely sustainable."

The details:

  • Health care, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing saw strong job gains.
  • October's job gains were revised lower to 237,000 from 250,000, while September's employment gains were revised higher by 1,000 jobs.
  • The labor force participation rate — the percentage of workers 16 and older who are working or looking for work — was unchanged in November.
  • November marks the 98th consecutive month of job gains.

Bottom line: The jobs report is good news for investors who fear the economy may be overheating, which would make the case for more rate hikes stronger. In early trading, stocks pared their losses after the release of the jobs report.

Go deeper

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.

Why made-for-TV moments matter during the pandemic

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Erin Schaff-Pool, Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.