The jobless rate fell 0.3 percentage point to 4.6% as labour participation dropped for a second month.
A report from the U.S. Labor Department showed 178,000 jobs were added in the public and private sectors in November, compared with economists’ expectation of 175,000.
The level of unemployment dropped nationally and locally in November. Both measures had shown little movement, on net, from August 2015 through October 2016.
Dow e-minis were down 18 points, or 0.09 percent at 8:31 a.m. ET (1331 GMT), with 23,840 contracts changing hands. The labor force in the mostly French-speaking province declined by 20,300, the largest drop since December 2014. The report also shows that fewer people are joining the labor force, partly because those baby boomers are now exiting and retiring.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected the jobless rate would be unchanged and employment would decline by 15,000.
Wages put a damper on the gains, with the annualized pace of average hourly earnings gains slumping to 2.5 percent. The majority of the new jobs went to white dudes-the employment rate for women and teenagers stayed pretty much the same, NPR reports.
“In previous years, wage gains have been stagnant”, Yuki told our Newscast unit. The annual rate of wage growth subsequently slowed to 2.5 percent from 2.8 percent. Employment continued to trend up in administrative and support services (+36,000), computer systems design and related services (+5,000), and management and technical consulting services (+4,000).
Wages slipped for the first time in almost a year though after two straight months of increases. Service providers, which include restaurants, business services and health-care, are typically less exposed to headwinds-such as tepid overseas markets-than manufacturers.
Ontario saw the strongest job growth, adding 19,000 positions, while Alberta lost 13,000 jobs in the month.
Job gains for September and October were revised down by a total 2,000. While the employment picture is likely to give the Federal Reserve the reason it’s been waiting for to increase interest rates, declines in household earnings and other signs of weakness could hurt retailers dependent on consumer confidence and spending.
The unemployment rate is a three-month moving average, which minimizes fluctuations caused by seasonal work.
“More liberal economists say, ‘We’re not all the way there yet, so let’s hold off on interest rate hikes, ‘ ” NPR’s Chris Arnold explains.