Announced this morning, the economy added only 210,000 jobs in November, less than half than what was expected. A look underneath the headline number shows the Transportation and Warehousing industry was strong, while Retail Trade and Government jobs were weak. The Unemployment Rate decreased four tenths to 4.2% and the Labor Force Participation Rate was higher at 61.8%. Average Hourly Earnings increased 4.8% on an annual basis, less than expected, and Average Weekly Hours were 34.8, which is one tenth higher than the previous month. Overall, a surprisingly weak headline number contrasted with a decent drop in the unemployment rate and an uptick in labor force participation. Furthermore, weakness in the retail industry may be reflected in average hourly earnings coming in below expectations. The Federal Reserve should be on track with their tapering process and rate increases given inflationary pressures remain, but additional data will be important to confirm labor market improvement in the months ahead. In all, the U.S. 10-year treasury yield ticks higher following the report and equity futures are also higher as we head into the market open.
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