Dec 7, 2018

U.S. jobs growth keeps pace

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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

Unemployment fell to 50-year low in 2019 but wages stagnated

Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Friday's jobs report missed expectations, but still delivered solid numbers, showing the U.S. economy added well over 100,000 jobs and the unemployment rate remained near a 50-year low.

The big picture: BLS reported that the number of people who were employed part time but would rather be full-time employees declined by 507,000 over the year.

Growing divide between the two Americas

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Life in the U.S. is increasingly divided into two realities — one in which things have almost never been better and another in which it's hard to imagine them being worse.

Driving the news: Bankruptcies led more companies to announce job cuts last year than at any time in more than a decade, WSJ's Aisha Al-Muslim reports (subscription), citing data from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas.

Go deeperArrowJan 3, 2020

An unsettling future for millions of American jobs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. economy is besting expectations for job growth, and the unemployment rate is at its lowest in several decades — but the other side of the story is that millions of jobs out there just aren't good enough.

Why it matters: Almost half of all American workers are stuck in low-wage jobs that often don't pay enough to support their lives, lack benefits and sit squarely inside the automation bullseye.