November’s Huge Jobs Report

Did you know that 2014 is on pace to record the strongest year of job growth since 1999? The economy has added 10.2 million jobs since the recession’s low point and, despite Americans thinking that the unemployment rate is higher than it actually is, the unemployment level is just 2 tenths off the Fed’s target for 2015 at 5.8%. The economy is picking up steam and November continued the trend.


November’s jobs report came in WELL above expectations:

The numbers surprised on the upside in nearly every category. Non-farms payrolls increased by 321k and revisions to previous months netted +44k more jobs than previously reported. Long-term unemployment was down by 100k and hourly earnings beat on the upside by 0.2 percentage points.

The participation rate and unemployment rate stayed flat because the volatile household survey came back to earth after last month’s +638k number. Still, the broader U-6 measure of unemployment continued to tick down this month by .1%.

Of course, the initial payrolls number is subject to revisions in the coming months. 2014 has seen many upward revisions but payrolls can be revised either up or down. This is why it is important to look at longer term trends and the longer term trend is showing a clear acceleration.

November continued this year’s work force momentum and, perhaps more exciting, showed an increase in hourly earnings. In the short-term, futures markets turned postitive on the report and the US dollar gained strength against foreign currencies.  Inflation is still a long ways from being a concern so the Fed will likely continue to keep interest rates low as it has repeatedly promised though a few more reports like this will bring attention back to its monetary policy.  Still, a stronger US economy is ultimately good for US stocks in the long-term.


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