economy jobs unemployment

Blockbuster November Jobs Report Bolsters Case For Prolonged US Expansion

This should put to bed the recession calls - at least for a month.

The US economy added a much better than expected 266k jobs in November, summarily relegating the worst ADP print since May (which caused some consternation when it landed earlier this week) to the dustbin of economic history.

The headline number is a country mile ahead of consensus, which was looking for just 183k. Revisions tacked on 41k to the September and October headline prints (which are now 193k and 156k, respectively). The three-month average is now 205k.

The unemployment rate ticked lower to 3.5%.

Private payrolls rose 254k, obliterating estimates (consensus was 178k) and coming in well above even the most optimistic guess (the range was 55k to 215k).

Manufacturing payrolls rose 54k as 41k workers returned from the strike.

Average hourly earnings, meanwhile, came in cooler-than-expected at 0.2%, down from 0.4% in the October report. The YoY number there is 3.1%, slightly ahead of the expected 3%, but not by enough to matter to the Fed.

This comes on the heels of an October report that was generally seen as a blockbuster too, although that was a relative term last month. Suffice to say the October numbers were better than feared.

Between that and a reasonably solid third quarter GDP report (subsequently revised higher), investors were generally content to assume the US economy isn’t on the verge of falling off any cliffs, even as business investment remains weak.

This week’s lackluster ISM manufacturing report tested that assumption, but the November jobs data will do wonders for the optimistic narrative. The fact that wage inflation isn’t picking up rapidly makes the November report the very definition of “Goldilocks” – or at least that’s the way it looks on a first read.

Estimates and priors

  • Change in Nonfarm Payrolls, est. 183,000, prior 128,000
  • Change in Private Payrolls, est. 179,000, prior 131,000
  • Change in Manufact. Payrolls, est. 40,000, prior -36,000
  • Unemployment Rate, est. 3.6%, prior 3.6%
  • Average Hourly Earnings MoM, est. 0.3%, prior 0.2%
  • Average Hourly Earnings YoY, est. 3.0%, prior 3.0%
  • Average Weekly Hours All Employees, est. 34.4, prior 34.4
  • Labor Force Participation Rate, prior 63.3%
  • Two-Month Payroll Net Revision


  • U.S. Nov. Nonfarm Payrolls Rose 266k; Unemp. Rate at 3.5%
  • Nonfarm payrolls forecast est. 180k, range 70k-237k from 78 economists surveyed
  • Nonfarm payrolls, net revisions, 41k from prior two months
  • Motor vehicle industry payrolls increased 41.3k in Nov. after a decline of 42.8k in Oct.
  • Participation rate 63.2% vs prior 63.3%
  • Avg. hourly earnings 0.2% m/m, est. 0.3%, prior 0.4%
    Y/y 3.1%, prior 3.2%; est. 3.0%
  • Nonfarm private payrolls rose 254k vs prior 163k; est. 178k, range 55k-215k from 31 economists surveyed
  • Manufacturing payrolls rose 54k after falling 43k in the prior month; economists estimated 40k, range -15k to 56k from 15 economists surveyed
  • Unemployment rate 3.5% vs prior 3.6%; est. 3.6%, range 3.5%-3.8% from 75 economists surveyed
  • Underemployment rate 6.9% vs prior 7.0%
  • Change in household employment 83k vs prior 241k


5 comments on “Blockbuster November Jobs Report Bolsters Case For Prolonged US Expansion

  1. Alex says:

    With this report how asinine is Trump’s demand the Fed cut rates.

  2. SL says:

    “summarily relegating the worst ADP print since May to the dustbin of economic history ” How so?

    The disparity seems astonishing.

  3. Things are looking to good, Tariff Man tweet coming in 3…2….1….

  4. Walter L says:

    Eight or ten years ago, Oregon Wheat got in an argument with the USDA over whether it was more appropriate to use surveys generated by the National Agricultural Statistics Service or actual yield numbers provided by the Farm Service Agency. USDA chose to use surveys over actual numbers. These numbers led to differing results when determining whether the wheat region was in drought or not; as well as whether growers would be paid compensation for same.

    It actually looked like the survey numbers represented coffee shop numbers, not real in the bin numbers. Somewhat overstated.

    These are surveys. Don’t make them anymore than they are. The Friday report showed logging employment was up 2800 plus. Really. This is winter. Where will those loggers be in January? At home, waiting for the weather to break. Likely where most of them were in November as well. GM went back to work following the strike. Does that help GM sales numbers down the road?

    Nice for the market, but disturbingly far from reality I would imagine.

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