Wages up, unemployment down, but only 210k jobs added to U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – There’s good news and bad news when it comes to the nation’s economy.

The November jobs report fell far short of projections, adding the fewest number of jobs in a year. But analysts say some other signs still point to a robust recovery from the worst of the pandemic.

Overall, more Americans are working and they’re making more money than they did last year. But the uncertainty of the pandemic and the Omicron variant threatens to slow the nation’s economic recovery.

President Biden has been celebrating bright spots in the nation’s economy with the unemployment rate dropping to 4.2% and inching ever closer to pre-pandemic levels.

The president acknowledged higher consumer prices remain a concern, as did a jobs report that shows employers slowed their hiring in November, adding 210,000 jobs, far short of analysts’ projections.

Still, the average paycheck is growing, up nearly 5% from a year ago.

President Biden said, “Even after accounting for rising prices, the typical American family has more money in their pockets than they did last year.”

In fact, with about three weeks left in the Christmas shopping season, the National Retail Federation is already predicting a record-setting year and now says holiday sales could be even bigger than they forecasted.

Wall Street largely shrugged off the disappointing jobs report.

CNBC Senior Economics Reporter Steve Liesman said, “There’s a whole lot of other data that suggests the job market is strong.”

The chief economist for the business networking website LinkedIn, Karin Kimbrough, said there’s been no better time for people to find a job. “We’re seeing hiring rates well above pre-COVID levels, we’ve had the strongest month on record since the pandemic began of people getting hired,” Kimbrough said.

But analysts say the mixed bag of economic data reflects the reality that the pandemic is not over and that the uncertainty of the emerging Omicron variant and ongoing supply chain and labor issues could quickly send the economy back in the wrong direction.

Citing the Biden agenda and rising consumer prices, the Republican National Committee called Friday’s jobs report a “disaster.”

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