U.S. firms keep hir­ing, eas­ing wor­ries of weak­en­ing econ­omy

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - BUSINESS - By Christo­pher Rugaber AP Eco­nom­ics Writer

WASH­ING­TON >> Amer­i­can busi­nesses have com­plained for years that they can’t find the work­ers they need to fill avail­able jobs. Novem­ber’s ro­bust hir­ing gain sug­gests that at least some have found a way to do so.

With the un­em­ploy­ment rate now at a half-cen­tury low of 3.5%, many economists have also warned that hir­ing would soon slow sim­ply be­cause there are fewer un­em­ployed work­ers avail­able.

That day may still come, but it didn’t in Novem­ber. Em­ploy­ers added 266,000 jobs last month, the most since Jan­uary. Monthly hir­ing has, in fact, picked up since ear­lier this year: It av­er­aged 205,000 for the past three months, up from a re­cent low of 135,000 in July.

Fri­day’s jobs re­port largely squelched fears of a re­ces­sion that had taken hold in the sum­mer. Steady job growth has helped re­as­sure con­sumers that the econ­omy is ex­pand­ing and that their jobs and in­comes re­main se­cure. That should boost spend­ing and growth in the months ahead.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump seized on the strong jobs re­port as he tries to fo­cus vot­ers’ at­ten­tion on the state of the econ­omy rather than the im­peach­ment in­quiry be­ing led by House Democrats. The lat­est num­bers also come as Trump’s trade war with China had prompted com­pa­nies to cut back on their in­vest­ments in plants and in­dus­trial equip­ment, slow­ing growth.

“With­out the hor­ror show that is the Rad­i­cal Left, Do Noth­ing Democrats, the Stock Mar­kets and Econ­omy would be even bet­ter, if that is pos­si­ble, and the Bor­der would be closed to the evil of Drugs, Gangs and all other prob­lems! #2020,” the pres­i­dent tweeted.

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