The November Jobs Report released last Friday showed a steady labor market, but fell short of Wall Street’s expectations. The economy added 178,000 jobs in the past month, two thousand short of the projected 180,000. So far in 2016, average monthly job growth rolls in at 180,000 jobs per month compared to 229,000 in 2015.
The most job growth was seen in professional and business services with 63,000 jobs added in November. In total, it has grown over 571,000 in the past year. Job growth in the financial activities sector changed little over the past month, indicating a steady labor market for the industry.
The good news? The November Jobs Report also shows the unemployment rate dropped to an unprecedented nine-year low of 4.6%. Wall Street expected the unemployment rate to stay steady at 4.9% with little change month over month. The labor force participation rate dropped to 62.7% as baby boomers retire and leave the job market.
Additionally, the September Jobs Report was revised upwards from +191,000 to +208,000 jobs whereas October numbers dropped from +161,000 to +142,000. In total, job gains in the previous two months were 2,000 less than previously reported.
Questions as to whether the Fed will raise rates in December are still circling, though it is likely they will proceed with caution regardless of a rates hike. Check back in next month for the December jobs report breakdown.