The U.S. employment engine continued to run in November, the Labor Department reported on Friday, suggesting continued demand for workers despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to curb inflation by curbing hiring.
Employers created 263,000 jobs, even as a wave of layoffs in the tech sector grabbed headlines. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%.
The labor market has been surprisingly resilient in the face of successive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve over the past year. Even sectors normally sensitive to borrowing costs, such as construction and manufacturing, have been slow to slow from their rapid post-pandemic growth.
While playing it safe, businesses can often still find reasons to expand.
“In my view, we’re not declining, we’re just consolidating, kind of flattening out,” said Jon Guidi, chief executive of HealthCare Recruiters International. “I don’t get any strong negative signs. ‘Hey, Jon, we still need to hire, but maybe not in the rush that we did a few months ago. Maybe we’ll be a little more selective.'”
gentlemen. Guidi’s industry, health care, has one of the highest job vacancy rates in the economy as employers seek to win back workers who have borne the brunt of Covid-19. More broadly, the share of workers posting jobs and quitting is down from record highs earlier this year, while initial claims for unemployment insurance remain low.
Transportation and warehousing is one of the sectors where hiring has stalled as the pandemic-era shopping frenzy has given way to more travel and leisure spending. Some independent truckers have left to pursue other careers, but the total number of jobs remains well above the 2019 baseline, said Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Association.
“If you’re a good driver, you don’t have a lot of accidents, and you can pass a drug test, then there’s no reason for you to lose your job unless you want to,” Costello said. “zero.”
Other indicators suggest a deeper contraction is underway. The manufacturing purchasing managers index, which measures how many manufacturers are expanding, turned negative for the first time since the pandemic. Employment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas laid off four times as many workers last month as it did a year earlier, including 53,000 layoffs at technology companies, the most since Challenger began collecting data in 2000.
Those recent high-profile cuts may not ripple across the economy. But they could spell pain in some areas, such as San Francisco, that depend on those high-paying jobs.
“I think it’s too early to see a downturn in other industries; tourism is still doing well,” said Ted Egan, chief economist for the city of San Francisco, noting that two-thirds of the city’s businesses have grown since 2010. of growth comes directly or indirectly from technology. “But I think ultimately we will see technology dragging down the local economy. “