Nonfarm payrolls in the United States increased much less than expected in December, while the unemployment rate fell.


Nonfarm payrolls in the United States increased much less than expected in December, while the unemployment rate fell.

The December employment data showed a 199,000 gain in nonfarm payrolls, significantly behind the 450,000 jobs growth projected in a Bloomberg survey, while November payrolls received a minor upward revision to a 249,000 increase.

Private payrolls increased by 211,000 in December, following a 270,000 increase in November, falling short of the 405,000 increase projected. The number of leisure and hospitality jobs increased by 53,000.

The unemployment rate declined to 3.9 % in December from 4.2 % in November, contrary to the 4.1 % projected, while labor force participation remained stable at 61.9 % in November and the labor force expanded. The data included annual updates to the household survey.

The employment-to-population ratio, used by some Federal Reserve officials as a measure of progress toward the Fed’s employment targets, increased to 59.5 % in November from 59.3 % in November, but remains significantly below pre-pandemic levels.

Hourly earnings increased by 0.6 % , exceeding the 0.4 % increase predicted and following a 0.4 % increase in November. Hourly earnings increased by 4.7 % year on year.

US Equity Futures

The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 41 points or 0.1%, S&P 500 futures slipped 5 points or 0.1%, and Nasdaq futures declined 47 points or 0.3%.

Oil prices rose, with front-month global benchmarks Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate crude were up 0.19% and 0.2% respectively, supported by the escalating civil unrest in oil-rich Kazakhstan.

Energy stocks 

The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) was climbing by 0.08% recently. The United States Oil Fund (USO) was up 0.07% and the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was over 1% higher.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up by $0.02 at $79.47 per barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange. The global benchmark Brent crude gained $0.19 to $82.16 per barrel and natural gas futures were $0.11 higher at $3.92 per 1 million BTU.

In other world markets, Japan’s Nikkei closed 0.03% lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed 1.8% higher, and China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.2% lower. Meanwhile, UK’s FTSE 100 gained 0.1%, and Germany’s DAX index fell 0.6% in Europe’s early afternoon session.

Source: XglobalMarkets

Related Posts