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Strong jobs report all but guarantees December interest rate hike

Construction jobs still lagging

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, reported employment increased in line with experts expectations and above the average 2017 pace.

This increase is just above what experts were expecting. The ADP and Moody's Analytics National Employment Report forecasted job would growth will slow in November to an increase of 190,000 new jobs.

And Capital Economics Chief Economist Paul Ashworth said payroll employment will show a 200,000 increase.

One expert pointed out that while job growth was solid, wage growth remained muted, but said the increase all but guarantees the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December.

“The slightly bigger than expected 228,000 gain in non-farm payrolls in November all but guarantees another 25bp interest rate hike by the Fed next week, particularly with the unemployment rate unchanged at an unusually low 4.1%,” Capital Economics Chief Economist Paul Ashworth said. “Nevertheless, despite the strength of employment and the unusually low level of unemployment, wage growth remains muted.”

The National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions’ chief economist also agreed wage growth was a negative side to November’s report.

“This was a solid report, albeit one that failed once again to show ever-elusive wage growth,” NAFCU Chief Economist Curt Long said. “But the addition of 230,000 jobs combined with steady unemployment will not give the Fed any pause as officials prepare to raise rates later this month.”

While jobs continue to increase, the National Association of Realtors pointed out construction jobs are still slow-coming.

“The construction employment is still slow in coming,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “Even the though the latest month’s job growth rate in the construction sector of 2.7% is twice as fast as the overall growth rate, total construction jobs are still well below the pre-recession levels by roughly 20%.”

“Without more skilled construction workers and more hiring in the sector, the housing shortage will continue well into 2018,” Yun said.

But another expert saw the growth in the construction sector as a positive, saying it posted healthy monthly gains.

“In addition, residential construction payrolls have posted healthy back-to-back monthly gains, hinting that residential investment will likely add to growth this quarter for the first time in three quarters,” Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan said. “Overall, today’s report supports our view that domestic demand has regained momentum late in the year, setting up the economy for a more upbeat 2018 than we previously anticipated.”

And Fannie Mae wasn’t the only one to claim Friday’s report is good for the construction and residential housing market.

“There is a good amount to be encouraged by in today’s report as it relates to the housing market,” realtor.com senior economist Joseph Kirchner said. “We continued to see growth in construction, which was up 24,000, 4,000 of which are in residential construction.”

“This bodes well for the residential housing, which is starved for more homes, especially in high demand areas where employers are hiring,” Kirchner said. “Residential construction employment is also up since last year by 19,000 or 2.5%.”

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