3 Things You Should Know From the November 2018 Jobs Report

December 7, 2018 Matt Tarpey

The U.S. economy added 155,000 jobs in November, notably below the median estimate of 198,000, according to Bloomberg.


Here are some of the highlights from the report.


1. Unemployment Rate Remains Low

While job growth may have fallen short of expectations, the unemployment rate stayed steady at 3.7 percent.


Marketwatch: “An unexpected surge in hiring in 2018 has knocked the unemployment rate to the lowest level since 1969. The jobless rate remained at 3.7% for the third month in a row.”


New York Times: “The unemployment rate and new claims for jobless benefits are at or near record lows. And the average monthly increase in payrolls this year is more than enough to keep the jobless rate below 4 percent.”


Washington Post: “Some economists worry 2018’s pace of growth isn’t sustainable next year with such a tight labor market. The unemployment rate reached 3.7 percent in September and held that near-half-century low in October. Employers complain that a talent shortage is thwarting their growth plans, asserting that it is increasingly difficult to find people with the right skills.”



2. Wage Growth Unchanged


Yahoo! Finance: “Wages were in-line with expectations, with average hourly earnings rising 0.3% over last month and 3.1% over the prior year. Wage growth has been closely tracked for signs of inflation pressures in the economy. In October, wages rose 3.1% over the prior year, the fastest pace of annual wage growth since April 2009 while 250,000 new jobs were created.”


Marketwatch: “The flush of new jobs is contributing to the fastest pay gains for workers in nine years. The amount of money the average worker earns rose 6 cents to $27.35 an hour last month. The increase in pay over the past 12 months was unchanged at 3.1%, but that’s the biggest advance since 2009.”


Chicago Tribune: “Still, some economists caution that not every worker is reaping the benefits. Labor leaders say wage growth among service workers is lacking. Some blame declining union membership and the rise of subcontractors, which has cramped pay and access to paid time off and health insurance.”



3. The Fed May Hold Back

New York Times: “Friday’s report is unlikely to discourage policymakers at the Federal Reserve from raising benchmark interest rates when they meet on Dec. 18 and 19. Nonetheless, the report is being seen as a warning flag on some fronts. The recent volatility in the stock market and an increase in the monthly average number of people applying for unemployment benefits has worried people, said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG.”


Fox Business: “The smaller-than-expected number could influence the Federal Reserve to pause its interest rate hikes. Such recent increases, including one expected this month, have spooked stock investors lately and drawn fire from President Trump.”



With low unemployment, the competition for talent is intense. In order to attract the best candidates, you need to know What Candidates Want in Today’s Job Market.


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