The US economy added about 155,000 jobs in November. This was relatively lower than the projected figures looking at a more robust growth. The rate of unemployment remained steady at 3.7% which is a 49 year low.
Despite this, hiring still remained strong for the entire 2018. US employers have added at least 200,000 jobs in four of the last six months. Yet, the construction industry saw the largest dip in numbers after dropping from 24,000 jobs in October to just 5,000 in November.
Nonetheless, other sectors maintained a steady growth.
Analysts are confident that payroll growth is still on course towards beating the numbers recorded last year. In 2017, average jobs created per month stood at 182,000. Analysts think that the progress in 2018 could beat the 195,000 average that was reported in 2016.
The US economy has been holding on well with steady growth reported over the last few years, but there’s a lot of uncertainty in the future, especially with the increasing trade tensions between the US and its trade partners.
Despite the increase in jobs, employers have complained that there’s a talent shortage in the labor market. Most have argued that even though they do have positions to fill, it’s been increasingly difficult to find people with the right skills.
This is probably good news for employees though.
Increased competition in the job market will help drive up wages that have lagged behind substantially since the Great Recession. According to the report by The Labor Department, average wages grew by 3.1% for the past year. This was the biggest jump since 2009. But the increase has done little to lift the income status of many Americans with increasing inflation also reported in the same period.
The recent hiring spree has been pushed by a number of sectors including transportation, healthcare, professional services, and warehousing. Manufacturing has also seen a relatively higher growth compared to previous years with 288,000 jobs already added.
Analysts note that even though the jobs report for November failed to meet the set targets, it’s not a cause for concern. Many see it as a simple bump on the road. The numbers are expected to rebound no doubt in the next month.
One of the key concerns that are still hanging over investors is the trade war with China. Although president Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day truce to allow for negotiations, there are still a lot of contentious issues that need to be addressed. The White House agreed to hold off any additional tariffs on Chinese products that were scheduled to take effect at the beginning of 2019.
However, the arrest of a prominent Chinese executive in Canada this week at the request of the United States will send more jitters among investors who are closely watching trade relations between Washington and Beijing.
The US economy is expected to hold steady in the next few months with more jobs to be expected as well.