U.S. Weekly Economic Roundup: More Elves For Santa

Last week’s 321,000 payroll jobs gain continues a positive trend, as we have seen additions of 200,000 or more jobs for 10 straight months. The report gives the Fed what it needs to continue down the path of potentially raising the Federal funds rate in the middle of next year, the first such hike in nearly a decade.

The economic releases this week include:

  • Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 321,000 jobs in November after climbing by an upwardly revised 243,000 jobs (was 214,000) in October.
  • ADP private payroll employment increased by 208,000 jobs in November following an upwardly revised 233,000 jobs (was 230,000) in October.
  • The U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $43.4 billion in October from a revised deficit of $43.6 billion (originally $43 billion) in September.
  • U.S. labor productivity was revised up to 2.3% in the third quarter from 2% in the previous report.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing index declined to 58.7 in November from 59.0 in October.
  • The ISM’s nonmanufacturing index rose to 59.3 in November from 57.1 in October.
  • Construction spending increased by 1.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $971 billion in October from the revised September estimate of $960.3 billion.
  • Initial jobless claims fell to 297,000 in the week ended Nov. 29 from the previous week’s revised level of 314,000 (was 313,000). Continuing claims fell to 2.36 million for the week ended Nov.22.

Strengthening Labor Market

After a run of solid data, the markets were expecting another healthy Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) job report for November. The ADP National Employment Report, released on Wednesday, showed that private businesses added 208,000 jobs in November, while the U.S. Department of Labor reported that weekly claims for unemployment insurance averaged fewer than 300,000 during the month. In addition, major surveys of U.S consumer sentiment have remained strong and the employment components of the producer sentiment surveys have shown steady growth. With these varied indicators of the U.S. economy building anticipation, today’s BLS report certainly did not disappoint as it met expectations and then some.

The BLS reported that the U.S. economy added 321,000 total nonfarm payroll jobs in November (according to the establishment survey), which is about 100,000 jobs more than the consensus expectation. Today’s numbers continue the positive trend we have been seeing this year, as the economy has added 200,000 or more jobs in 10 of the last 11 months. The 321,000 jobs added in November follows September’s gain of 271,000 (revised up from 256,000) and October’s gain of 243,000 (revised up from 214,000). Year-to-date, average payroll employment growth now stands at 241,000, which is higher than 2013’s average of 194,000.

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