In another jobs report that's already unsettling stock futures, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday that 263,000 payrolls were added in November while the U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent, but still up from earlier this fall when September's read saw 3.5 percent unemployment.
While the unemployment rate was expected to remain unchanged, the number of jobs reported in November beat the estimates of 200,000 new jobs by a healthy margin, a signal that the Federal Reserve is sure to take as grounds for continued aggressive interest rate hikes in their bid to bring inflation back down to Fed Chair Jerome Powell's goal of just two percent.
In the minutes after the November report was released, Dow futures tumbled more than 400 points for a greater than one percent dip before market opening, while S&P 500 futures fell 1.5 percent and Nasdaq-100 futures dropped 2.3 percent.
Even as the topline number beat expectations, other data in the report show that the economy is still struggling overall. There are still 6 million unemployed, and another 127,000 Americans became "permanent job losers" in November to bring that number to 1.4 million.
Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate for November was 62.1 percent, still 1.3 percent lower than in February 2020 before COVID-19 hit, proving yet again that President Biden and his administration have not, despite their claims, "built" American "back" or "better."
What's more, there are still 5.6 million Americans who are not in the labor force but want a job — 600,000 more than there were before the pandemic.
When it comes to wages and hours worked, November saw a month-over-month increase of 18 cents in average hourly earnings for an annual growth of 5.1 percent, but that wage increase still lags behind inflation by more than 2.5 percent as Americans continue to take a significant hit to their real wages. At the same time, November saw the average number of hours worked per week decline to 34.4 hours.