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Hiring Was Up in November, But Is It Enough Evidence of a Reviving Economy?

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Hiring for the month of November was strong, according to the Labor Department’s Friday announcement. Businesses added 203,000 new jobs total, and unemployment rates are down to about 7 percent. Many of these jobs were in manufacturing, logistics, and warehouses. But analysts aren’t yet convinced that these new jobs are enough evidence of a strengthening economy. Factories added a total of 27,000 new jobs, marking the fourth straight month of jobs gains for the sector, which is the most gains in this sector seen since March of 2012. Construction firms added another 17,000 jobs, many of which are high paying. Transportation and warehousing added a combined 30,000 new jobs, though some of these are seasonal workers who may not stay on payroll after the holiday season is over.

Among the lower paying jobs added include 22,000 retail workers, 13,800 of which were hired to work in general merchandise stores, such as Wal-Mart and Target. Restaurants added 17,900 jobs, but many of the jobs in these fields could also be holiday workers that will not retain their jobs after the holiday season.

The federal government cut 7,000 workers, even as state and local governments hired 14,000 new workers, mostly in the field of education. Overall, wages are increasing across the board, though modestly. On average, American workers are bringing home about $20 more per week than during the peak of the economic recession. Other economic measures are not showing strong signs of growth to go along with the good news offered by the jobs metrics.

Analysis and commentators do not believe that the announcement by the Labor Department regarding jobs growth will be enough to cause the Federal Reserve Board to back off on bond buying practices, which have been able to curb the negative economic growth up until now. Most believe that the Board will meet at least two more sessions before announcing a cut back on long-term bond buying practices.

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