US job growth falls short of expectations

Nonfarm payrolls in the United States rose 210,000 in November, well below the figure reported the previous month, according to figures released Friday by the Labor Department.

In October, the country added 546,000 new jobs (this data was revised upwards, instead of the 531,000 previously disclosed).

Analysts consulted by Reuters expected around 550,000, well above what was reported.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.2%, from 4.6% in October. Wages, meanwhile, continued their upward trend.

The report came a few days after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told lawmakers that the US central bank should discuss accelerating the reduction of its massive bond purchases at the December monetary policy meeting.

Moderate growth

Modest increases in employment could dampen expectations that the economy will grow stronger in the last quarter of the year, after having suffered a downturn in the July-September period.

Consumer spending and manufacturing activity have been strong. However, the Omicron variant of Covid-19 poses a risk.

While little is known about the variant, a slowdown in hiring and demand for services is likely, based on the experience of the Delta variant of the disease, which affected the pace of economic growth last quarter. At the end of September there were 10.4 million job openings.

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