US Labor Market Defies Slowdown Forecasts in Broad Strengthening

January 24, 2024

(Bloomberg) -- The US labor market unexpectedly strengthened in November with pickups in employment and wages, tempering bets the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates early next year. Most Read from BloombergNonfarm payrolls increased 199,000 last month following a 150,000 advance in October, a Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed Friday. But those don’t reflect underlying conditions in the labor market, and the Fed will likely look through their strength. The gain in payrolls, combined with stronger wage growth and a pickup in hours worked, led a broad measure of labor market health to jump 0.7% last month, the most since June. (Adds Julie Su comment in final paragraph)Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek©2023 Bloomberg L.P.