US Economy Adds 263,000 Jobs in November, While Hourly Wages Rise 0.6 Percent

by John Nelson

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. economy added 263,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The employment gains beat Dow Jones economists’ expectations of 200,000 new jobs, reports CNBC. Meanwhile, average hourly wages jumped 0.6 percent for the month, according to the BLS, double the estimate of economists. Furthermore, the 5.1 percent annual growth in wages exceeded the expectation of 4.6 percent.

CNBC also reports that the better-than-expected wage growth may put even greater pressure on the Federal Reserve to continue its path of rate hikes, which Fed officials have been signaling as likely ahead of the December Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) meeting.

Many media outlets report that economists are expecting the central bank to boost the federal funds rate by 50 basis points before the end of the year, raising the target range to between 4.25 and 4.5 percent. However, some other media sources indicate that strong wage growth is another sign of inflation and could push the Fed to boost the rate by 75 basis points.

Big gains in leisure and hospitality

In November, the employment sector with the biggest surge was leisure and hospitality, which added 88,000 positions. Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), said that the hotel sector is still more than 350,000 jobs below pre-pandemic levels, but the industry is incentivizing workers in a way it never has before.

“The industry is looking to fill these positions, leading to historic career opportunities for hotel employees,” said Rogers. “National average hotel wages for 2022 through October are more than $22 per hour — higher than any other year on record. And with better benefits and more flexibility and opportunities for advancement than ever before, there has never been a better time to work at a hotel.”

Rogers noted that AHLA and the AHLA Foundation have launched a recruitment campaign called “A Place to Stay” that will help the industry fill more than 100,000 open hotel jobs nationwide across 200 separate positions.

In addition to leisure and hospitality, several other employment sectors experienced healthy job gains in November, including healthcare (+45,000), government (+42,000), other services (+24,000), social assistance (+23,000) and construction (+20,000).

Additionally, the BLS revised the September jobs report downward by 46,000 jobs (315,000 to 269,000) and the October jobs report upward by 23,000 jobs (261,000 to 284,000). With these revisions, employment gains in September and October were 23,000 lower than previously reported.

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