Payrolls in U.S. Increase More-Than-Forecast 146,000
By Shobhana Chandra - Dec 7, 2012
Payrolls rose more than anticipated and the jobless rate fell to an almost four-year low in November, indicating superstorm Sandy's effect on the U.S. labor market was limited.
Employment climbed by 146,000 following a revised 138,000 gain in October that was less than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 91 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a gain of 85,000. Sandy "did not substantively impact" the data, the agency said.
The unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008, as size of the labor force shrank.
Stock-index futures advanced as the gain in hiring indicated consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy, will keep expanding. At the same time, concern about more than $600 billion in fiscal tightening slated for early next year threatens growth and may set back employment, one reason Federal Reserve policy makers are weighing increasing stimulus.
The pace of payroll growth "is too slow to make much of a dent into the pool of unemployed, but it's steady and persistent,"James Glassman, senior economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York, said during a radio interview on Bloomberg Surveillance. "If you look into next year, there's a lot of reasons why we should be expecting better."