United States job growth increased at a strong clip in November and wages rebounded, painting a portrait of a healthy economy that analysts say does not require the kind of stimulus that President Donald Trump is proposing.
Friday's jobs report made clear that the USA economy is on firm footing and is likely benefiting from more resilient global growth, with all major economies across the world expanding in tandem for the first time in a decade.
Wage growth was weaker than expected. Consumer confidence has reached its highest level since 2000. Signs of an uptick here could portend the onset of stronger inflation that has been so absent from the USA recovery. If the Fed acts as expected, it will be the third rate rise this year as the central bank moves away from its policy of keeping rates close to zero that it imposed after the recession.
The unemployment rate held at a 17-year low of 4.1%. Among the sectors that have added jobs over the last twelve months are manufacturing and construction.
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USA job growth increased at a strong clip in November, painting a portrait of a healthy economy that analysts say does not require the kind of fiscal stimulus that President Donald Trump is proposing, even though wage gains remain moderate.
The number of jobs added to the economy in November exceeded 2017's monthly average. Transportation and warehousing companies, which are benefiting from the e-commerce boom, added 10,500. The manufacturing unemployment rate fell to a record low. Employers have added an average of 174,000 a month this year, a bit below last year's monthly average of 187,000.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics data was closely watched by Wall Street and policymakers; the Federal Reserve is all but guaranteed to raise the interest rate at its meeting next week. As long as the current "confirmed uptrend" - the equivalent of a green light - stays in place, leading stocks breaking above a buy point are more likely than not to have the wind at their backs. Auto sales rose 1.3 percent in November compared with a year earlier, to 1.4 million, according to Autodata Corp. But with the labor market near full employment and companies reporting difficulties finding qualified workers, most economists disagree.
Though wages have yet to pick up, Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said he thinks a continued decline in unemployment will lead to higher pay. But the real value of workers' wages is 6.9 percent less than in 2006, once inflation is taken into account.