US economy beats expectations with 199,000 jobs added in November

November’s figure surpassed the 150,000 jobs added in October but remained behind September’s 336,000.

The data, published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics today (8 December), revealed the biggest increases were registered in the government (49,000) and healthcare (77,000) sectors, alongside manufacturing (28,000), reflecting the “return of workers from a strike”.

US job vacancies drop to two-year low in October

The unemployment rate slightly decreased to 3.7% over the month, while the number of unemployed people remained steady at 6.3 million.

Yet the number of long-term unemployed – those without a job for more than 27 weeks – decreased to 1.2 million, comprising 18.3% of the total unemployed population.

The Bureau noted the employment population ratio went up by 0.3 percentage points to 60.5% in November, whereas there was little change for the labour force participation rate, at 62.8%, which the agency said has been “essentially flat since August”.

Part-time workers decreased by 295,000 over the month to four million, while the number of unemployed people currently looking for a job remained at 5.3 million.

Richard Carter, head of fixed interest research at Quilter Cheviot, said the US economy has continued to “defy expectations once again”, despite tighter financial conditions that have led to expectations of the opposite.

Mixed reactions as US jobs growth surges but unemployment stalls in September

He added: “Job growth in the US exceeded market estimates, seeing 199,000 jobs added and the unemployment rate falling. While job growth is falling compared to last year, it is holding up remarkably well in the face of a tough economic picture and slowing growth globally.

“What this essentially does for the Federal Reserve is help to dampen down any talk of rate cuts in the first of half of 2024. It sees a path to consistent 2% inflation without having to cut rates, giving it the perfect scenario should the data turn sour at any moment.”

Carter argued stock markets are currently looking for “any and every data point” that could lead to the Fed cutting rates sooner. However, he noted the effects of the rate hikes “have not been felt yet”, meaning the situation could deteriorate in the future.

Yet the US economic picture is “looking strong”, he added, leaving the Fed heading into 2024 “feeling just fine about the job it has done to date”.


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.