US Adds 263,000 Jobs In November, Unemployment Remains at 3.7%

The U.S. economy added 263,000 jobs in November, beating estimates of 200,000 jobs.

This number represents a dip from October, which saw an increase of 284,000 jobs and from September, which saw an increase of 269,000 jobs, according to a newly revised figure from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. As inflation soars, the job market has stayed tight as wages increase across various industries.

The unemployment was unchanged from October at 3.7%, with 6 million people unemployed. In September, the unemployment rate was 3.5%.

Notable job gains were present across leisure and hospitality, health care, government, social assistance, information and manufacturing.

Retail employment declined by 30,000 in November, reflecting job losses across general merchandise stores, electronics and appliance stores and furniture and home furnishings stores. These losses were offset by gains in motor vehicle and parts dealers. Since August, employment in retail has fallen by 62,000.

Average hourly earnings rose by 18 cents, or 0.6%, to $32.82 in November. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 5.1%. Meanwhile, inflation continues to soar while showing some signs of improvement.

Consumer prices rose by 7.7% in October compared to last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, U.S. retail sales were $694.5 billion in October, up 1.3% from September. November’s consumer price index, which measures inflation, is set to be released on Dec. 13.

The strong labor market and rising wages have bolstered consumer spending overall, as the Federal Reserve implements rate hikes in an effort to dampen inflation.

However, the growth in spending this year has not been as robust as 2021.

The National Retail Federation’s chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said in his monthly economic review in October that while the economic environment in the U.S. is “unsettling” and consumer confidence is down, spending has persisted. And consumers came out to shop in record numbers this past holiday weekend, according to data from the National Retail Federation (NRF).

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