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US Unemployment Ticks Down as Hiring Accelerates

Dec. 8, 2023
The latest figures are closely watched by the Federal Reserve as it decides on how to handle interest rates in order to fight stubborn inflation.
The United States saw its jobless rate edge down in November while hiring rose more than expected, government data showed Friday, as policymakers mull the need for further efforts to cool the economy.

The world's biggest economy added 199,000 jobs, said the Department of Labor, as the jobless rate ticked down to 3.7%.

Meanwhile, wage growth heated up to 0.4%.

Although employment appears to be heating up, analysts noted ahead of the report that the underlying state of the labor market has been weakening.

The latest figures are closely watched by the Federal Reserve as it decides on how to handle interest rates in order to fight stubborn inflation.

The central bank is due to announce its next rate decision at the end of a policy meeting next week.

A tight labor market could be cause for concern to officials keen to see price increases slow.

But the latest uptick in hiring comes on the back of October figures that were temporarily bogged down due to strikes by auto workers and in Hollywood.

"Employment growth is below the average monthly gain of 240,000 over the prior 12 months but is in line with job growth in recent months," said the Labor Department in a statement.

Copyright 2023, Agence France-Presse

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