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December 07, 2007

AP: "Solid Jobs Report, Wage Growth In Nov."

Not the 189,000 jobs forecasted by that private ADP report earlier this week, but still solid. And likely to be revised upwards, as usual.

Employers added a modest 94,000 jobs to their payrolls in November, the unemployment rate held steady at 4.7 percent and wages grew briskly, encouraging signs the nation's employment climate is holding up in the face of turbulence in the housing and credit markets.


The 94,000 new jobs in November came after a surprisingly strong payroll gain of 170,000 in October. The unemployment rate stayed at a relatively low 4.7 percent for the third straight month.


The performance was better than economists were expecting. They were forecasting that the unemployment rate would nudge up to 4.8 percent and they also said they thought employers would boost payrolls by around 70,000.


Workers with jobs saw brisk wage growth last month.

Average hourly earnings rose to $17.63 in November, a 0.5 percent increase from the prior month. That marked the biggest monthly gain since June. The only other time the monthly gain was higher was in October 2005. Economists were expecting a more moderate rise of 0.3 percent. Over the past 12 months, wages grew by 3.8 percent.

Solid wage growth supports consumer spending, a vital ingredient to a healthy economy. But a sustained and rapid pickup in wages -- if not blunted by other economic forces -- can stoke inflation, which can eat into any wage gains.


Overall, the employment and wage figures were encouraging because they suggested the labor market is not cracking under all the strains plaguing the economy.

Not cowbell, but still good.

digg this
posted by Ace at 12:53 PM

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