Labor market remained strong in November as U.S. economy added 266,000 jobs and jobless rate fell to 3.5 percent – The Washington Post

The United States added 266,000 jobs in November as the jobless rate decreased to 3.5 percent, reflecting a surge of strength in the labor market that has muscled through recession fears that flared over the summer.The data, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, beat expectations. Analysts had forecast roughly 180,000 new jobs for the…

Labor market remained strong in November as U.S. economy added 266,000 jobs and jobless rate fell to 3.5 percent – The Washington Post

The United States added 266,000 jobs in November as the jobless rate decreased to 3.5 percent, reflecting a surge of strength in the labor market that has muscled through recession fears that flared over the summer.The data, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, beat expectations. Analysts had forecast roughly 180,000 new jobs for the month. The 3.5 percent unemployment rate is back at a 50-year low.The jobs data offers the latest snapshot into an economy that appears to have lost some steam from 2018 but continues to grow. Heading into President Trump’s fourth year in office, the labor market remains one of the economy’s biggest engines, and Trump regularly touts the low unemployment rate as one of his top achievements.“What a way to end the year,” said Julia Pollak, an economist at ZipRecruiter, an online employment marketplace. “The overwhelming takeaway from the whole year, and indeed the past nine years, is that job growth has been remarkably stable and steady.”Still, ongoing uncertainty around Trump’s trade war has left businesses confused about how to shield themselves from a future downturn, and many have pulled back investments in recent months. The White House is in the midst of trying to secure a partial trade pact with China as well as revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement, and many executives are eyeing developments in those talks before they decide how to proceed.But this doesn’t appear to have slowed hiring much in recent months. The U.S. economy added an average of 205,000 jobs per month from September through November, a very healthy clip.Pollak said it was remarkable that so much uncertainty wasn’t depressing job growth. And while it’s difficult to predict whether the numbers would have come in higher without Trump’s trade war, she said the impact seems to have been “relatively muted.”In the near-term, it’s easier for employers to invest in hiring workers than it may be to, say, build a new factory during a protracted trade war, said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com.“If you’re going to build a structure, that’s a substantial commitment,” Hamrick said. “The good news for employers, and the bad news for workers, is that most employees have virtually no job security, so that does provide employers a bit more flexibility.”Markets rejoiced at the report, with the Dow Jones industrial
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