In a surprising turn of events, the unemployment rate in the United States declined in November, indicating that the labor market may not be slowing down as rapidly as previously anticipated.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released new data indicating that the unemployment rate decreased to 3.7% in November, compared to 3.9% in October. Additionally, the U.S. economy saw an increase of 199,000 jobs last month, an improvement from the previous month’s 150,000, as striking auto workers and Hollywood actors returned to work.

A survey conducted by Bloomberg among economists anticipated that there would be an increase of 185,000 job positions, while the unemployment rate would remain unchanged at 3.9% compared to the previous month.

The increase in wages, which is an important measure for both inflation and worker bargaining power in the job market, rose by 0.4% on a monthly basis and by 4.1% compared to the previous year. Economists had predicted a slightly smaller increase of 0.3% from the previous month and 4% compared to last year.

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At the same time, the percentage of people in the workforce increased to 62.8%, compared to 62.7% in the previous month. Additionally, the average number of hours worked per week slightly rose from 34.3 to 34.4.

The healthcare sector experienced the biggest surge in employment according to the Friday report, with an addition of 77,000 jobs. Government employment also increased by 49,000, reaching the level it was before the pandemic. Additionally, there was a rise of 40,000 jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry.

The recent release of labor market data further supported the idea in the market that there could be a gradual decrease in economic activity, referred to as a “soft landing,” where inflation meets the Federal Reserve’s target of 2% without a significant economic downturn.

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