November Jobs Report Shows Mixed News

By Toni Vranjes

December 2, 2016

Payrolls headed up last month, but wages went in the opposite direction, according to the latest government jobs report.

The total job growth for November was 178,000, the government reported today. That was powered by a whopping 63,000 new jobs in professional and business services, along with 28,000 jobs in health care.

Meanwhile, unemployment fell from 4.9 percent to 4.6 percent, for both good and bad reasons, according to IHS Markit. The good reason is higher employment, while the bad reason is a declining labor force in November, wrote the organization’s Chief Economist Nariman Behravesh in an analysis.

In not-so-bright news, wages dropped by 3 cents last month. This amounts to a decline of 0.1 percent month-over-month, following a 0.4 percent increase in October and a 0.3 percent rise in September, Behravesh noted.

He also cautioned people to examine the data critically. “While the data on both the labor force and wage growth are disappointing, there is a strong seasonal factor in both – and both have been quite volatile in the past six months,” he wrote.

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