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December 10, 2018 — Job Gains Slow in November, but Wages Come in Strong Again

DECEMBER 10, 2018 – JOB GAINS SLOW IN NOVEMBER, BUT WAGES COME IN STRONG AGAIN

The US economy added 155,000 new jobs in November, below expectations of 198,000 jobs.  The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent, while wage growth also equaled October’s results with 3.1 percent year-over-year growth.

The Labor Department’s data for November dispels recession fears.  2018 is on course to be the third best for job growth of the current expansion.  The first eleven months of 2018 created fewer jobs than 2014 and 2015, but ahead of all other years dating back to 2006.  The unemployment rate is holding at its lowest level since 1969, and the steady wage growth is the best seen since 2009.

But as target wages are moving higher, they are not on a tear. The Fed may want to slow down pace of rate increases based on slowing new job creation and jobless claims creeping higher in recent months. Oil and other commodity prices have been down in recent weeks, adding to the uncertainty in the inflation outlook.

Though the future is unpredictable, the December rate hike is still fairly certain.  If you act quickly, you can use an interest rate swaps to lock in today’s rates before they go up in the coming weeks.