Bullish US employment report puts Fed under spotlight

Nonfarm payrolls surged by 3,21,000 last month, the most since January 2012, the Labor Department said on Friday.

By: Reuters | Washington | Published:December 6, 2014 3:30 am

Having US employers added the largest number of workers in nearly three years in November and wage gains picked up, a sign of economic strength that could draw the Federal Reserve closer to raising interest rates.

Nonfarm payrolls surged by 3,21,000 last month, the most since January 2012, the Labor Department said on Friday. The unemployment rate held steady at a six-year low of 5.8 per cent.

“I think it will put pressure on the Fed to raise rates in the first half of next year by June, perhaps even March,” said Craig Dismuke, chief economist at Vining Sparks in Memphis, Tennessee.

Data for September and October were revised to show 44,000 more jobs created than previously reported, adding more sparkle to the report. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls increasing by only 2,30,000 last month.

The report provided the latest sign that a strengthening jobs market is starting to spur faster wage growth, a key factor that will help determine the timing of the US central bank’s first rate hike.

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