US jobs growth signals tough inflation fight ahead

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US jobs growth signals tough inflation fight ahead

  • Published2 days ago

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Image caption,The jobs market is being closely watched amid the fight against inflation

Jobs growth in the US remained robust last month, while wages climbed sharply – signs that the world’s largest economy still faces a tough fight as it wrestles to rein in rising prices.

Employers added 263,000 jobs, while average hourly pay rose 5.1% from last year, official figures show.

The unemployment rate remained at 3.7%.

The stronger than expected report came despite the US central bank’s efforts to cool the economy and stabilise prices by raising interest rates.

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The Federal Reserve has lifted borrowing costs this year at the fastest pace since the 1980s, responding to inflation – the rate at which prices are rising – that is running near a 40-year high.

Analysts have been predicting that job creation would weaken, as businesses slow expansion or cut back under the weight of the higher costs.

But while reports of job cuts have started to hit some sectors, such as housing and technology, Friday’s report from the US Labor Department suggests the labour market remains solid.

Bars, restaurants and health care firms drove the hiring in November. Job gains were seen even in sectors expected to take a hit, such as construction and manufacturing.

Analysts said that may be good news for workers, given fears that the rising borrowing costs could trigger a painful increase in unemployment.

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