Blog Posts by Scott Moorehouse
Last Friday brought the final jobs report of the year and of President Obama’s tenure. While the headline number of 156,000 new jobs was below analysts’ expectations, this was hardly a negative report. The most exciting news came from wages which increased by 2.9 percent - the largest year-over-year wage growth we’ve seen since 2009. Average hours remained steady, while the labor force participation rate rose to 62.7 percent.
The November Jobs Report provided another mixed bag of economic data as the unemployment rate fell, while wages and the labor force participation rate both declined. The traditional unemployment rate fell to 4.6% from 4.9% in October. The labor force participation rate remains historically low at 62.7%, but has improved compared to November 2015 when the rate was 62.5%. Looking at overall trends for 2016, the labor market shows a higher level of participation, increased average wages and lower unemployment.
The final jobs report before the presidential election continued most of the common themes of the past four years as 161,000 new jobs were added, the unemployment rate fell to 4.9% and wage growth ticked up again. While positive on most fronts, the report showed fewer new jobs than analysts expected and included a fall in the laborforce participation rate to 62.8%. The data for the August and September jobs report were revised higher, adding to the new jobs total.