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The U.S. Economy Added 199,000 Jobs in November, Unemployment Fell to 3.7%

U.S. employers added 199,000 workers to their payrolls in November, the Labor Department announced Friday.

The unemployment rate fell from 3.9% to 3.7%.

Economists had expected the economy to grow by 185,000 jobs after it was reported that employment would rise by 150,000 in October. This figure has not been revised in this month's report. Employers revised down their labor costs by 262,000 jobs in September. Employment increased by 227,000 in August.

The unemployment rate was expected to remain stable at 3.9%.

The slowdown in employment has raised market expectations that the Fed will finish raising interest rates and begin lowering them in the first half of next year. At its meetings in November and September, the Federal Reserve decided to keep interest rates on hold as it assesses how early interest rate hikes would affect the economy.It is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged at next week's meeting.

The Federal Reserve is trying to cool labor demand, concerned that rising wages could increase upward pressure on inflation. These efforts appear to be paying off as the number of job openings has declined and employment growth has slowed in recent months.

Inflation has fallen significantly, but remains well above the Fed's 2% target. The consumer price index rose 3.2% in October, the latest figure available, compared with the previous 12 months. The index remained unchanged from September due to a sharp drop in energy prices. Core prices excluding food and energy rose 4% annually, or 0.2% from the previous month.

The private sector added 150,000 jobs in November, lower than Wall Street economists expected. The growth rate for the previous month was revised downward from 99,000 to 85,000.

Local and state governments expanded their payrolls by 49,000 jobs, while federal employment levels remained flat. The average monthly increase in government employment over the past 12 months is 55,000.

The UAW strike was the main reason for the drop in manufacturing labor costs in October, with U.S. factory employment falling by 35,000 jobs. Most of these jobs were added again in November as payrolls increased by 28,000. Economists had expected all 35,000 jobs to return. Automakers and parts suppliers added 30,000 jobs, while some jobs were cut in other sectors.

Employment statistics are subject to extensive and frequent revisions. The employment growth rate for September was 336,000, which was originally announced, more than double the 160,000 expected. This was revised downward to 297,000 last month and then again to 262,000. October numbers have not been revised.

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