The United States disappointed by generating only 210,000 jobs during the month of November, when the unemployment rate fell to 4.2%. The consensus expected the economy to add at least 400,000 jobs and unemployment to drop to 4.4%.
A disappointment that came accompanied by an upward revision for the months of September and October, which totaled 82,000 more payrolls than previously expected.
Thus, so far this year, the monthly growth in employment has been an average of 555,000 jobs. Nonfarm payrolls have increased by 18.5 million since April 2020, but an additional 3.9 million would still need to be created to reach its pre-pandemic level.
However, this pace of job creation would support the Federal Reserve and its potential decision to accelerate the withdrawal of its stimulus in the form of asset purchases at its next meeting on December 14-15.
This same week, its president, Jerome Powell, indicated that inflationary pressures, which reach levels not seen in more than three decades, are not transitory . This would justify intensifying the cut in purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed assets (a process also known as tapering) to offer a necessary margin to raise interest rates from the first quarter of next year if necessary.
“The disappointing November data suggests that the job market recovery was faltering even before the possible impact of the new omicron variant , as a result of increased infections in the northeast and midwest of the country. Still, the Reserve Federal will go ahead with its plans to accelerate the pace of reducing purchases at its monetary policy meeting this month, “Andrew Hunter, an economist at Capital Economics, explained in a report to his clients.
According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the US Department of Labor, in November there were notable increases in employment in professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, construction and manufacturing industry. That said, retail businesses destroyed jobs.
The drop of 20,000 jobs in this sector could reflect both the effect of the virus and the change in consumption dynamics on Black Friday, which with the pandemic has reinforced the appetite for online shopping. In fact, employment in the transportation and warehousing sector increased by 50,000 jobs.
If we inquire into the data provided by the Department of Labor, a timid increase of 23,000 jobs in leisure and hospitality can be seen, which indicates that the incipient wave of winter infections, even before the appearance of omicron, implies that Payroll creation in these sectors will remain weak in the coming months.
For its part, the number of unemployed fell by 542,000 people , to 6.9 million. However, both the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed remain above their pre-pandemic levels (3.5% and 5.7 million, respectively, in February 2020). Those individuals who have been out of work for 27 weeks or more remained at 2.2 million, doubling the levels recorded before the impact of Covid-19.
The labor force participation rate rose to 61.8% in November and is 1.5 percentage points lower than that of February 2020. Wages at the time of private non-farm payrolls increased by 8 cents (0.3 % month-on-month), up to $ 31.03. In the last 12 months, the average hourly wage accumulated a 4.8% rise .