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U.S. adds disappointing 210,000 jobs in November in face of severe labor shortage

The numbers: The U.S. gained a lackluster 210,000 new jobs in November even though businesses took more aggressive steps to hire people, a disappointing increase that shows the worst labor shortage in decades is still a drag on the economic recovery.

The increase in hiring — the smallest in a year — was way below Wall Street’s forecast. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast 573,000 new jobs.

The U.S. jobless rate fell to 4.2% and touched a new pandemic low. Economists say the official rate likely underestimates the true level of unemployment by a few percentage points, however.

GOOD LFPR

Yet in another encouraging sign, the size of the labor force grew substantially. Some 594,000 people rejoined the labor force in November. The so-called rate of participation rose two ticks to 61.8%.

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Read: Jobless claims jump 28,000 to 222,000, but big ups and downs around Thanksgiving raise questions

Businesses have sought to fill a cope with a labor-market shortage by increasing pay and benefits. Hourly pay rose sharply again last month and wages have climbed 4.8% in the past year, marking the fastest increase since the early 1980s.

Related News  Biden to reinstate travel bans amid fears about new variants as global case tally heads toward 100 million

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+1.82%

and S&P500
SPX,
+1.42%

were set to open slightly higher in Friday trades. Markets did not reactly much immediately to the report.

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