February 7, 2023

In November, U.S. employers hired more workers than expected and raised wages despite growing recession fears, which could complicate the Federal Reserve’s push to start slowing interest rate hikes this month.

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The Labor Department said on Friday that non-farm payrolls increased by 263,000 last month, according to a closely monitored jobs report. The October data was revised to show an increase in the number of jobs by 284 thousand instead of 261 thousand, as previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters expected an increase in jobs by about 200,000 people. Estimates ranged from 130,000 to 270,000.

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Employment remains strong despite tech companies including Twitter, Amazon and Facebook owner Meta announcing thousands of job cuts.

Economists said these companies have returned to their normal size after over-hiring during the Covid-19 pandemic. They noted that small businesses are still in dire need of workers.

Wall Street’s main indicators opened lower on the back of US employment data, lowering investor expectations that the US central bank will ease monetary tightening. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 129.6 points, or 0.38 percent, to 34,265.45. The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 36.4 points, or 0.89 percent, to 4040.17. The Nasdaq Composite also fell 174.1 points, or 1.52 percent, to 11,308.375.

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