The U.S. economy created more jobs than anticipated last month but wages continuted to lag even though the unemployment rate stayed near a two decade low.
Employers hired 228,000 new workers in November following the previous month's revised 244,000 total and the unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent, according to the Employment Situation Report issued by the Labor Department on Friday. Economists had forecast 200,000 new employes. The October result was initially 261,000.
Hourly wages rose 0.2 percent in November missing the 0.3 percent prediction and October's flat statistic dropped to -0.1 percent on revision. Annual wage gains came in at 2.5 percent, up from October's negatively revised 2.3 percent, at the low side of the the past two years and well below the average of the period before the financial crash of 2008-2009.
Manufacturing payrolls rose 31,000, the second best gain of the past four years, topped only by August's 44,000 additions. The average workweek rose 0.1 to 34.5.
Probably the biggest dissapointment of the report and the likely source of wage stagnation was the labor force participation rate which remained near its generational nadir at 62.7 percent.
Labor Force Participation
As long as there is the large pool of unemployed and underemploed workers represented by this indicator, employers will have little need to increase pay to attract new employees.