Economy

US Jobs Report Shows Continued Gains, Beats Expectations

The latest jobs report from the Labor Department shows that 228,000 jobs were added in the United States in November, beating the roughly 195,000 positions expected by economists.

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, as measured month over month. And, according to news from The New York Times, that rate is the lowest recorded since 2000.

The latest numbers, centered on non-farm jobs, show a long trend of gains in the labor market — a string of 86 straight months, as a matter of fact. Wages picked up slightly, as hourly earnings gained 20 basis points month on month and 2.5 percent from last year.

Digging a bit into the data, manufacturing added 31,000 positions, with retail perhaps predictably gaining steam, too, with 18,700 jobs added into the all-important holiday shopping season. In tandem with healthy commerce, transport and warehousing firms added 10,500 jobs. Even restaurants, which had been at least partly impacted by the hurricanes that bedeviled the U.S. last quarter, showed resilience with 18,900 positions added.

Looking at part-time numbers, individuals working gig jobs, for what Bloomberg noted were “economic reasons,” were up by a 48,000 tally to 4.8 million. As estimated by the latest iteration of the PYMNTS Gig Economy Index, part-time gig workers make up 5 percent of gig employees.

Measured in broad strokes, the U.S. economy has added an average of 174,000 jobs through 2017, which is a bit less than the average monthly number of 186,000 seen in 2016. That slowdown might be one to expect as the economy nears what is known as full employment.

The average workweek as measured across all workers stood at 34.5 hours, which indicates a five-month zenith.

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