November payroll numbers reflect continued strength in the U.S. labor market. Jobless rate drops to a surprise nine-year low. Jeanne Yurman reports.
The last jobs report of the year shows the U.S. workforce continues to grow at a healthy pace. One hundred and seventy-eight thousand new jobs were added to the economy in November, according to the Labor Department - in line with forecasts. The jobless rate, however, was a surprise. After barely budging from just under five percent for most of the year, it fell to 4.6 percent - a nine-year low. And the participation rate - those working or looking for work - dipped to 61.7 percent. Shannon Saccocia of wealth management firm Boston Private says the report is a mixed bag, but still points to an interest rate hike this month. SHANNON SACCOCIA, HEAD OF ASSET ALLOCATION, BOSTON PRIVATE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I don't think this changes the Fed in any way, shape, or form in December. I think this would have to have been a cataclysmic failure from a jobs print perspective, and a decline in the participation rate, given all the uncertainty we had around the election is certainly not enough to do it." One other wrinkle in the data: after two straight months of gains, wage growth pulled back falling one-tenth of one percent from the prior month. The latest employment data comes after other recent reports reflecting brisk economic growth in the third quarter and gains in consumer spending, inflation, housing and manufacturing in the fourth quarter.