Dollar shines after blockbuster U.S. jobs report; data backs steady Fed

Employees at a board meeting. GETTY IMAGES  Hero Images

Employees at a board meeting. GETTY IMAGES Hero Images

Retail added 2,000 jobs for the month, but employment is still down 31,400 (0.2 percent) over the a year ago.

The nonfarm payroll number came in at +266,000, above consensus economist expectations of +187,000.

Holiday hiring and the end of the General Motors strike drove down unemployment in November, according to numbers released Friday by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The overall employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) remained at a recovery high of 61.0 percent for the third straight month.

Health care had a big gain, up 45,000, as did the leisure and hospitality industry, which also added 45,000 jobs.

Economists predicted that non-farm payrolls would add at least 180,000 gigs last month, up from 128,000 initially reported in October. In 2018, it added about 223,000 jobs a month, a bit under what it added in 2015 and well under the 251,000 added a month in 2014.

Wage gains accelerated slightly with average wages rising 3.1% over the past 12 months.

Financial activities employment also continued to trend up in November (+13,000), with a gain of 7,000 in credit intermediation and related activities.

Alberta and British Columbia lost 18,000 jobs each, with losses concentrated in retail and wholesale in Alberta, and spread across a number of industries in B.C.

Democrats pretend it has nothing to do with Trump - even though solid economic growth, with jobs gains for all, is exactly what he promised his policies would deliver, and exactly what Democrats said they wouldn't produce. For the week, the dollar was down 0.6 percent, its largest weekly loss in six weeks.

US stocks were trading higher while the dollar.DXY gained against a basket of currencies. For months, it had been stated that the jobs market was resilient but following this report, analysts could make the case that it is a force to be reckoned with.

However, camouflaged in the good news was some not-so-good news, economists said.

Some two dozen top economists told Bankrate in a Q4 poll that there was a 35 percent chance of a recession in 2020, compared to a 41 percent chance expressed in a similar Q3 survey. Despite the latest gaudy unemployment numbers, an apparent lack of so-called "good jobs" has resulted in a surge of hiring to fill low-wage positions.

November wasn't a great month for the job market. Small changes in labor force participation can have major effects on the economy: Because of this increase, 2.1 million more prime-age adults were in the labor force in October compared to if the participation rate remained at November 2016 levels. Other surveys have shown manufacturing to be slumping in recent months.

At the same time, Chairman Jerome Powell has said the Fed is not inclined to raise rates in response to ultra-low unemployment until inflation has risen consistently, which has yet to happen.

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