What Just Happened to the Jobs Market?

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What just happened to the U.S. jobs market? Private sector job growth in the U.S. stumbled in November, with U.S. companies adding far fewer new positions than expected, even as retailers rushed to staff up ahead of the holiday shopping season, Automatic Data Processing reported on Wednesday. 

Private employers added just 67,000 new jobs during the month, ADP said, well below economists' average forecast for a gain of 150,000 and also below the revised 121,000 private jobs tallied up by ADP in October. 

The report suggests U.S. hiring among private employers is beginning to feel the pinch of slower growth abroad, in particular the still-ongoing global manufacturing recession, which so far has only had a limited impact on U.S. economic activity. 

“In November, the labor market showed signs of slowing,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “The goods producers still struggled; whereas, the service providers remained in positive territory driven by healthcare and professional services. "Job creation slowed across all company sizes; however, the pattern remained largely the same, as small companies continued to face more pressure than their larger competitors.” 

Economists are currently projecting that the Bureau of Labor Statistics report will reveal that 180,000 new jobs were created in November, up from October's 128,000 gain, based on a survey by data provider FactSet. 

The unemployment rate is seen holding steady at 3.6% after hitting a 50-year low of 3.5% in September. Average hourly earnings are seen increasing a moderate 0.3% monthly pace, or 3% year-on-year.