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US Employment Rises
World Economy

US Employment Rises

US job growth increased solidly in November in a show of the economy's resilience, which most likely paves the way for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this month for the first time in nearly a decade.
Nonfarm payrolls increased 211,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. September and October data was revised to show 35,000 more jobs than previously reported, Reuters reported.
The unemployment rate held at a 7-1/2-year low of 5%, even as people returned to the labor force in a sign of confidence in the jobs market. The jobless rate is in a range many Fed officials see as consistent with full employment and has dropped seven-tenths of percentage point this year.
The Fed's policy-setting committee will meet on Dec. 15-16. Market-based measures of Fed policy expectations assign a probability of 79.1% to the central bank's raising interest rates at that meeting, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch site. The dollar extended gains against a basket of currencies, while prices for US government bonds fell. US stock futures extended gains.
The second month of strong job gains should allay fears the economy has hit a soft patch, after reports showing tepid consumer spending in October and a slowdown in services industry growth in November. Manufacturing contracted in November for the first time in three years. Though wage growth slowed last month, economists say that was mostly payback for October's outsized gains, which were driven by a calendar quirk.
Manufacturing has been crippled by a strong dollar, efforts by businesses to reduce bloated inventory and spending cuts by energy companies scaling back well drilling and exploration in response to sharply lower oil prices. Mining employment has declined by 123,000 since reaching a peak in December 2014. Three quarters of the job losses over this period have been in support activities for mining.
Oilfield services provider Schlumberger this week announced another round of job cuts in addition to 20,000 layoffs already reported this year. The company said it expected the slowdown in drilling activity to continue in 2016. Construction payrolls increased 46,000 last month. With 163,000 jobs added, the services sector accounted for the bulk of the increase in employment last month. Retail jobs rose 30,700 and transportation and warehousing employment rebounded after two straight months of declines.
Professional services added 27,000 jobs and government payrolls increased 14,000 last month.

 

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