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Published: Sun, December 04, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

United States jobs report: 4 facts to know before its release

United States jobs report: 4 facts to know before its release

"The upshot is that the labor market appears to be approaching full employment", says Paul Ashworth, chief USA economist at Capital Economics.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States added 178,000 new jobs last month, bringing the unemployment rate to 4.6 percent-the lowest its been since August 2007.

In addition, first-time applications for unemployment benefits dropped to 43-year lows in November and other labor market surveys were generally strong last month.

Another factor boosting the likelihood of an interest rate hike was OPEC's consensus at a Wednesday meeting in Vienna to cut its supply by 1.2 million barrels per day, a move that sent the price of Brent crude, an worldwide benchmark, up more than 14 percent by the end of the week, to more than $54 per barrel, a 16-month high. "It also tops off a recent run of continually positive economic data".

The release of information comes before the December 13 meeting of the Federal Reserve in which the bank is expected to announce an interest rate increase, its first in a year.

November's job gains fell 2,000 short of the 180,000 prediction, but matched the expected average monthly growth.

The labour participation rate, or the share of working-age Americans who are employed or at least looking for a job, fell 0.1 percentage point to 62.7 per cent last month, not too far from multi-decade lows, in part reflecting demographic changes.

Such progress led members of the Federal Reserve to conclude at last month's meeting that the case for an increase in the benchmark rate had been "strengthened".

But those new jobs aren't evenly spread out across the economy.

Still, President Obama will be leaving office and turning over the reins to Donald Trump after 81 straight months of private-sector job creation, a streak never equaled before-not even during the large economic expansions under Presidents Clinton, Reagan, or Johnson.

Administrative and support services also saw an uptick of 36,000 additional jobs added, while computer systems design and related services saw 5,000 jobs added.

The job gains for the month came largely from professional and business services and healthcare.

It's been seven years since the recession officially ended, and this newest jobs report shows that the economy is still expanding.

Over the 12 months leading up to November, the labour market added 220,100 employee jobs and shed 22,100 self-employed positions. Numerous new jobs came from the professional and business service sectors: things like accounting, management and computer systems. And businesses may offer more hours to their part-time workers. And the Conference Board's consumer confidence survey revealed that more Americans view jobs are "plentiful".

Trump's jobs promises have been in the spotlight this week.

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