US employment numbers slow down in November

The latest US jobs report shows a cooling in employment in November, but an increase in wages.

Woman and now hiring sign
Source: Bloomberg

The US economy added 155,000 jobs in November, according to the latest jobs report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number is strong, but less than the 198,000 positions that financial analysts expected.

Wall Street weighs on jobs numbers

The ups and downs of Wall Street have affected workers. The uncertainty of a trade deal between China and the US have made investors and businesses nervous about increasing tariffs. The worries about higher taxes could possibly have led to less hiring of employees.

The slowdown in businesses like construction could be attributed to the US Federal Reserve. Construction only added 5000 new jobs in November. The Fed raised interest rates, leading to a growth in mortgage rates and decline in house sales. The drop from October’s 200,000 new positions may be signally an economic downturn according to, Steve Rick, head economist of CUNA Mutual Group.

‘Today’s lower-than-expected job numbers may appear particularly disappointing after such a strong month in October. However, it’s hard to expect the economy to sustain over 200,000 jobs each month while maintaining such a low unemployment rate, especially given the impact of wildfires [in California] and the continuation of tariffs and trade policy changes,’ said Rick.

Positive news on wages and unemployment rate

While there has been disappointing news from the jobs report, there is good news about the US economy. Wages increased by 3.1 %, influenced by the new policy of Amazon raising wages for its workers up to $15 an hour. The unemployment rate is also the same low rate of 3.7%. Economists like Joe Brusuelas, from consulting firm RSM, believes that talks of a recession are premature.

‘The economy continues to churn out new jobs and reflects the strong underlying business conditions that point to steady, albeit slower job growth and economic activity in 2019. This report strongly implies that a recession is not looming just over the horizon,’ said Bruselas.

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