Payrolls Rise 178K As Unemployment Rate Tumbles To 4.6% But Average Hourly Earnings Worst Since 2014

While the headline November payrolls print came in almost on top of expectations at 178K, vs consensus of 180K there were two big surprises in today’s report, one being the unemployment rate which plunged from 4.9% to 4.6%, well below the 4.9% expected, but the biggest negative surprise was that the Average hourly earnings in November dropped by 0.1%, far below last month’s 0.4% rise, and below the 0.2% expected with the annual increase growing by a far more modest 2.5% than the 2.8% expected.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised up from 191,000 to 208,000, but the change for October was revised down from 161,000 to 142,000. With these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 2,000 less than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 176,000 per month.
One red flag in the report was the 4,000 drop in manufacturing workers, worse than the -3,000 expected, and following last month’s -5,000 print. Also of note, workers unable to work due to bad weather according to the BLS were 19K in Nov. The historical average for Nov. is 72k employees cannot work due to poor weather conditions. Another 113k workers who usually work full-time could only work part-time due to the weather last month.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 2, 2016.

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