Employers in United States added far more jobs than expected in November, as hiring surged and unemployment dropped to a 50-year low.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payrolls rose by 266,000 — compared with economists’ forecasts of 187,000 — and the unemployment rate fell to 3.5% to match September’s level. Wages also rose to an average hourly rate of 3.1% from the prior year.
The manufacturing sector hired 54,000 last month, following a decline of 43,000 in October — driven by the return of General Motors workers who were on strike. Employment in transportation and warehousing continued on an upward trend, tacking on 16,000 jobs.
The retail trade also saw 2,000 more workers. A 22,000 hike in general merchandise stores was offset by losses in clothing and clothing accessories stores and sporting goods stores of a respective 17,800 and 4,700.
Wall Street appeared to react positively to November’s jobs report, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing more than 270 points in Friday morning trading. The S&P 500 was also up more than 26 points, and the Nasdaq Composite increased nearly 80 points.
The report also likely allayed concerns of a slowing economy. On Wednesday, payroll processor ADP found that private sector employment in the United States rose by 67,000 in November — far less than analysts’ bets of a 140,000 hike and the fewest number of workers hired in six months.
Job growth has averaged 180,000 each month so far in 2019, compared with an average monthly gain of 223,000 last year. The figures come as trade tensions, worker shortages and fears of an impending recession continue to worry American companies and investors.
Private Sector Job Growth Hit a Six-Month Low in November
How Wall Street’s Investment in Retail Killed 600,000 Jobs