- U.S. employers added 178,000 non-farm jobs in November. The unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent, the lowest since August 2007, largely driven by employment gains among adult men.
- Average hourly earnings nationwide rose 2.5 percent in November from a year ago, though slipped somewhat from a month prior after strong gains in October.
- Residential construction employment rose 4.9 percent year-over-year in November, continuing recent strength. Over the past 3 months, the construction industry overall has added 59,000 jobs, largely in residential construction.
The November jobs report shows an economy running largely at full steam, with the unemployment rate – already low – falling to its lowest level since August 2007. Given this strength, if there were any lingering doubts that Federal Reserve officials would opt to raise rates at this month’s board meeting, today’s report should toss them out the window.
Much of the jobs recovery has been focused on full-time positions, and the number of involuntary, part-time workers is down by more than 400,000 from a year ago, which implies better opportunities for many workers. Wages rose 2.5 percent from a year ago, which, combined with employment gains overall, could bode well for holiday spending.
Encouragingly, residential contractors and developers were among the biggest job creators in November. Residential construction employment rose 4.9 percent from a year ago, continuing recent strength, though some of the bump is likely attributable to re-building efforts in the Southeast after Hurricane Matthew.
Over the past three months, the construction industry overall has added 59,000 jobs, largely in residential construction. Continued hiring in this sector could be a good sign for home buyers struggling with incredibly tight inventory, and a continued ramp up in home construction activity will only help alleviate the problem as we move past the holidays and into 2017.