Job report shows gain of 199,000 in November. Wages are still hot.

January 24, 2024

The biggest surprise in the report was a sharp 0.4% increase in average hourly earnings, the largest gain in four months. Higher interest rates have cratered home sales, sapped business investment and discouraged consumers from buying big-ticket items. Big picture: The job market is quite strong, but some of the paint might be starting to peel. Looking ahead: The report “paints a picture of a cooling, but not collapsing job market and is therefore consistent with the soft-landing narrative,” said James Knightly, chief international economist of ING. “And the 3.7% unemployment rate reflects an economy where the vast majority of those who want a job can get a job.”