November NFP Increases by 203,000 Jobs Unemployment Rate 7 Percent

U.S. employers hired more workers than expected in November and the jobless rate fell to a five-year low of 7.0 percent, which could fan speculation the Federal Reserve could start reducing its bond purchases this month.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 203,000 new jobs last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. The unemployment rate dropped three tenths of a percentage point to its lowest level since November 2008 as some federal workers who were counted as jobless in October returned to work after a 16-day partial shutdown of the government.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls rising 180,000 last month and the unemployment rate falling to 7.2 percent from 7.3 percent.

Job gains for September and October were revised to show 8,000 more jobs created than previously reported, lending strength to the report. Other details were also upbeat, with employment gains across the board, hourly earnings rising and the workweek lengthening.

In addition, the jobless rate fell even as the participation rate – the share of working-age Americans who either have a job or are looking for one – bounced back from a 35-1/2-year low touched in October.

The closely watched employment report was released little more than a week before the Fed’s December 17-18 policy-setting meeting.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza