U.S. job growth slowed in November and monthly wages increased less than expected, suggesting some moderation in economic activity that could support expectations of fewer interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve in 2019.
The Labor Department’s closely watched monthly employment report on Friday came against a backdrop of a steep sell-off on Wall Street and a partial inversion of the U.S. yield curve, which have stoked fears of a recession.
Stocks have been mostly hurt by uncertainty whether a 90-day truce agreed by U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping over the weekend will hold and lead to a lasting easing of trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 155,000 jobs last month, with construction companies hiring the fewest workers in eight months, likely because of unseasonably chilly temperatures.
Some of the moderation in hiring in November could be the result of a shortage of qualified workers. But it also fits in with other data showing a rise in layoffs in recent weeks and a decline in a measure of services sector employment in November.
Read more in Reuters.