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亚马逊云账号(www.2km.me)_US labor market eyes maximum employment despite underwhelming December payrolls

admin2022-01-1012

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WASHINGTON: U.S. employment rose far less than expected in December amid worker shortages, and job gains could remain moderate in the near term as spiraling COVID-19 cases disrupt economic activity.

But the Labor Department's closely watched employment report on Friday suggested the jobs market was at or near maximum employment https://www.reuters.com/markets/us/feds-maximum-employment-is-here-not-everyone-has-benefited-2022-01-07. The unemployment rate tumbled to a 22-month low of 3.9% from 4.2% in November. The second straight big monthly decline occurred even as more people entered the labor force. Wages increased solidly, underscoring labor market tightness.

"The U.S. labor market may have lost a little momentum at the end of a stellar year, largely due to the lack of available workers rather than available positions, but it is holding up nicely, at least so far," said Sal Guatieri, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 199,000 jobs last month, the survey of establishments showed. Data for November was revised up to show payrolls advancing by 249,000 jobs instead of the previously reported 210,000.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls would rise by 400,000 and the unemployment rate to dip to 4.1%.

A record 6.4 million jobs were created last year. This was the largest annual increase in employment since record-keeping started in 1939, a milestone cheered by President Joe Biden, who celebrates his first anniversary in the White House on Jan. 20.

"I would argue the Biden economic plan is working," Biden said at the White House. "And it's getting America back to work, back on its feet."

Still, employment is 3.6 million jobs below its peak in February 2020. With the jobless rate flirting with the pre-pandemic low of 3.5% and falling below the Federal Reserve's longer-run estimate of 4.0%, some economists say the U.S. central bank could start raising interest rates in March.

"Most Fed officials will conclude that full employment has been reached, and we now expect liftoff in March and four hikes in 2022," said Andrew Hollenhorst, chief U.S. economist at Citigroup in New York.

Minutes of the Fed's Dec. 14-15 policy meeting published on Wednesday showed officials at the U.S. central bank viewed the labor market as "very tight." https://www.reuters.com/markets/us/fed-may-need-hike-rates-faster-reduce-balance-sheet-quickly-minutes-show-2022-01-05

The underwhelming job growth in December likely reflects labor shortages as well as anomalies with the so-called seasonal adjustment, the model used by the government to strip out seasonal fluctuations from the data. There were 10.6 million job openings https://www.reuters.com/markets/us/record-45-million-americans-quit-jobs-november-2022-01-04 at the end of November.

December is typically a weak month for payrolls growth. Unadjusted payrolls increased by 72,000. The seasonal factor added 127,000 jobs to the December tally, less than the 213,000 added in December 2020 and fewer than the roughly 425,000 average prior to the pandemic.

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