Street Cheers November's In-Line Jobs Report - TheStreet

Street Cheers November's In-Line Jobs Report

The Labor Department reported a steady unemployment rate, and wage growth grew less than expected in November.
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The market exhaled this morning, as the

Labor Department

reported a steady

unemployment rate

and wage growth grew less than expected in November. The other major components of the employment report were in line with expectations.

Nonfarm payrolls

rose by 234,000 in November, slightly greater than economists' expectations. The unemployment rate was steady at 4.1%, according to the Labor Department.

Average hourly earnings

rose by 0.1%, compared with estimates for a 0.3% increase. The

average workweek

was 34.6 hours.

The bond market greeted the news with a cheer, as the report doesn't display any additional tightness in the already-strained labor markets.

Economists were expecting a 226,000 gain in nonfarm payrolls in November, according to


, so this number is on target with expectations. October's gain was revised downward to 263,000 from 310,000.

Economists expected tightness in labor conditions would cause the retail sector to suffer at a time when temporary retail jobs start to pick up in anticipation of the holidays. Due to shortages, those who would normally work low-paying retail jobs are being lured away by employers that can offer higher wages. In November, the retail sector gained just 1,000 jobs.

The forecast for average hourly earnings was for a 0.3% increase. On a year-over-year basis, average hourly wages are rising at 3.6% rate, but that's still lower than November 1998's 3.8% rate. Average hourly wages rose by 2 cents to $13.41 in November, up from October's revised $13.39 figure. October's rate was revised to 0.3% from an original 0.1% estimate.

The manufacturing sector continued to shed jobs, falling by 2,000 for the month, compared with a revised 14,000 loss in October. Originally, manufacturing employment fell 15,000.

The workweek rose 0.1 hours in November, compared with October's 34.5 hours-per-week rate. Originally, October's rate was estimated at 34.6 hours per week.