Florida job fair (in September)
Photo: Marta Lavandier / AP
At first glance, the data from the US labor market seem contradictory: On the one hand, companies created 210,000 new jobs in November - significantly fewer than the 550,000 experts had expected. On the other hand, the separately recorded unemployment also fell far more sharply than expected by the experts. Specifically, the unemployment rate fell in November from 4.6 to 4.2 percent, as the Ministry of Labor announced. Only a decline to 4.5 percent was expected.
One explanation for the surprisingly sharp drop in unemployment, although unexpectedly few new jobs were created, could be that it is not the US that is currently short of work, but rather of labor. The proportion of the population that is available for the labor market is significantly lower than in the time before the corona pandemic. Seniors in particular are withdrawing from working life. At the same time, the corona crisis has apparently resulted in many employees being more willing to give up their old job and either look for a better paid position in the same area or look for something completely new.
In the corona crisis, the labor market in the USA collapsed massively.
It has since recovered - in November unemployment fell for the fifth month in a row.
However, full employment has not yet been achieved, as it was before the crisis with an unemployment rate of around 3.5 percent.
About 6.9 million US citizens are unemployed, according to the Department, up from over a million fewer before the crisis.
Meanwhile, wages rose more slowly than expected.
The average hourly wages increased by 0.3 percent compared to the previous month.
Compared to the same month last year, the increase was 4.8 percent.
The labor market plays a major role in the Fed's monetary policy.
In November, the Fed began to scale back its extremely loose monetary policy by buying fewer securities such as government bonds.
This week Fed Chairman Jerome Powell hinted that inflation could accelerate this pullback.
fdi / dpa