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US employment jumps by 146,000

Although economists participating in a Bloomberg News survey only anticipated an increase of 85,000, employment in the US actually exceeded the 138,000 gain seen in October, jumping by 146,000.

Statistics compiled by the Labour department showed that Superstorm Sandy had less impact than expected on November’s better than forecast result.

The unemployment rate also defied economists’ expectations and fell in November, dropping to 7.7 per cent and the lowest level seen for nearly four years. It was predicted that the unemployment rate would hold at last month’s level of 7.9.

There was also an increase in average hourly earnings from 23.59 to 23.63 US Dollars. The average working week remained at 34.4 hours.

As negotiations wear on regarding the impending fiscal cliff this is a positive sign for the world’s largest economy, although the participation rate (which demonstrates the proportion of working-age people in the labour force) fell from 63.8 per cent in October to 63.6 per cent.

Before the report was released a senior economist with Barclays Plc asserted: ‘We’re making progress in the Labour market. We expect a return to a pace of hiring that suggests we’re moving in the right direction. It’s not as fast as policy makers would like, but employment is growing.’

However, the Labour Department figures also showed that despite a rebound in auto sales following the impact of Superstorm Sandy losses in jobs within food manufacturing and chemical sectors caused factory payrolls to decline by 7,000.

With much of the physical damage caused by Octobers freak weather attended to construction companies also shed 20,000 workers. Meanwhile employment at private service-providers experienced an upswing of 169,000.

Payrolls for December are expected to benefit from seasonal hiring but as Fredrik Eliasson, chief financial officer with CSX Corp, stated: ‘There are a lot of uncertainties out there in the world at this point between what’s going on here with the fiscal cliff and between Europe and China.’

As of 14:30 am

The Pound to Euro exchange rate is currently trading at 1.2399

The Pound to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.6012

The Pound to Australian Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.5277

The Euro to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.2909

The Euro to Pound exchange rate is currently trading at 0.8061

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