US NFP Aftermath: 2017 looks as good as 2016

November was a very good month in terms of labor market characteristics in the US. The number of new jobs added in the US  nonfarm payroll employment rose by 228K, with the uptrend in employment in professional and business services, manufacturing, and healthcare. 

November’s 228K represents the second largest employment increase in 2017 after revised 244K in October and just above January’s 227K. 

When compared to last year, the average monthly employment growth has reached 174K for eleven months of this year while averaging 187K in 2016. In terms of the labor market, a key element of the monetary policy, the year 2017 looks as good as 2016, justifying the expectations of three interest rate hikes going into the year 2018. 

From the point of view of the US Federal Reserve, the report is not a particular reason for cheerful mood as the average hourly earnings rose mere 0.2% over the month in November while rising 2.5% over the year and the October figures were revised downwards indicating the demand price pressures are nowhere on the horizon yet. 

In terms of growth, average hourly earnings in the US still surpass the inflation rate indicating the real, inflation-adjusted income is increasing in the US adding a reason for consumers to be happy spending and promoting the GDP growth.

The Federal Reserve Bank is likely to disregard this “inflation mystery” and will keep hiking rates not only next week but also three times over the course of next year with two 25 basis points rate hike expected in the first half of next year.

US Non-farm payrolls in last 12 months

Source: BLS

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