Hir­ing pull­back could sig­nal mild slow­down

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Nation+world -

WASH­ING­TON >> U.S. job growth de­clined mod­estly in Novem­ber, a move that could sig­nal a slower but still steady pace of hir­ing and growth next year.

Yet most economists said last month’s job gain of 155,000 is more sus­tain­able than some of the larger in­creases posted ear­lier this year. And hir­ing at last month’s pace would make it eas­ier for the Fed­eral Re­serve to slow its in­ter­est rate in­creases.

“This is the new Goldilocks,” said Josh Wright, chief economist at iCIMS, a re­cruit­ing soft­ware com­pany. “Still strong-enough job growth, but a more cau­tious Fed.”

The un­em­ploy­ment rate stayed at 3.7 per­cent, a nearly five-decade low, for the third straight month, the La­bor Depart­ment said Fri­day in its monthly jobs re­port.

Av­er­age hourly earn­ings in­creased 3.1% in Novem­ber from a year ear­lier, Fri­day’s re­port said, only the sec­ond time they have climbed that much since the re­ces­sion ended nine years ago.

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