On The Money: US adds 155k jobs in November | Unemployment holds at 3.7 percent | Wage growth strengthening | Trump signs stopgap spending bill delaying shutdown

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THE BIG DEAL--Economy adds 155K jobs in November, unemployment holds at 3.7 percent: The U.S. economy added 155,000 jobs in November, below estimates and cooler than October, but the labor market continues to maintain momentum. 

The unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent for the third straight month, the lowest level since December 1969, the Labor Department reported on Friday.

Expectations have been for around 190,000 jobs to be added. 

Employment gains in September and October combined were 12,000 jobs less than previously reported. 

The economy has added jobs for 98 straight months, beginning in October 2010 under former President Obama. It is the longest streak of monthly jobs growth on record. The Hill's Vicki Needham breaks it down here.

 

Fed-watching: The Federal Reserve's policymaking arm, the Federal Open Markets Committee will meet in two weeks for the final time of 2018. The bank is expected to hike rates for the fourth time this year, and the solid jobs report plus strong wage growth makes it more likely the Fed will move ahead. But federal data on jobless claims, manufacturing output and inflation set to be released next week could complicate the Fed's decision.

 

Reactions:

  • "This is the sort of jobs report that manages to both calm folks at the Fed a bit -- no, we're not right on the cusp of overheating -- while also continuing the narrative of robust ongoing jobs growth that will, if it continues, keep bringing unemployment down." -- Justin Wolfers, a economist at the University of Michigan. 
  • '"The November employment report was slightly disappointing overall, as several of the key components were modestly below market expectations, but overall the report was not indicative of a weak economy." -- David Berson, chief economist for Nationwide.
  • "There are some signs of weakness in vehicle production and construction activity that are more worrisome. The Fed will be watching those shifts closely as we enter 2019 and slowing rate hikes accordingly." -- Diane Swonk, chief economist for Grant Thornton.
  • "The November jobs report was sturdy but uninspiring." -- Curt Long, chief economist for the National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU).

 

LEADING THE DAY

Trump signs stopgap spending bill, averting shutdown: President TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE on Friday signed a stopgap spending bill to avert a partial government shutdown, the White House said.

The measure will fund certain government agencies for two weeks, until Dec. 21. The House and Senate unanimously passed the bill this week.

The move essentially punts a contentious debate over Trump's desire for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border since former President George H.W. Bush's funeral services halted congressional business ahead of the initial Dec. 7 funding deadline. 

Republicans and Democrats have been locked in a stalemate for months over how much money to provide for Trump's border wall.

 

Tariff payments hit record high in October, pro-trade group says: The amount of import taxes paid by businesses in October was the highest in U.S. history, hitting $6.2 billion, according to a new report from a pro-trade group.

"Americans are paying these taxes and they're paying more than ever before. These tariffs are not making our country wealthier, they are doing the exact opposite," said former Rep. Charles BoustanyCharles William BoustanyMarch tariff increase would cost 934K jobs, advocacy group says Bottom Line On The Money: US adds 155k jobs in November | Unemployment holds at 3.7 percent | Wage growth strengthening | Trump signs stopgap spending bill delaying shutdown MORE (R-La.), who's now spokesman for the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign.

The campaign is a project of Americans for Free Trade, a group comprised of 150 trade associations opposed to tariffs and President Trump's trade policies. The Hill's Niv Elis breaks down the report here.

 

US wants to charge Huawei executive with fraud over Iran: U.S. prosecutors want to charge an executive for Chinese telecom giant Huawei with fraud related to allegations that she skirted sanctions against Iran, a Canadian prosecutor said in court on Friday.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested by Canadian authorities last Saturday at the request of the U.S. after allegedly violating trade sanctions against Iran.

The charges against Meng relate to Huawei's relationship with SkyCom, a company that reportedly tried to sell computer equipment to Iran, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Meng's arrest has stoked trade tensions between the U.S. and China. The Hill's Harper Neidig has more.

 

ON TAP NEXT WEEK

Tuesday:

  • Securities and Exchange Commission chairman testifies before the Senate Banking Committee for an SEC oversight hearing, 10 a.m.
  • House Financial Services Committee hosts a hearing entitled "The National Debt: Washington, We Have a Spending Problem," 10 a.m.
  • House Financial Services Committee hosts a hearing entitled "Assessing the Impact of FASB's [Financial Accounting Standards Board's] Current Expected Credit Loss Accounting Standard on Financial Institutions and the Economy," 2 p.m.

 

Wednesday:

  • House Financial Services Committee hosts a hearing entitled "Evaluating the Effectiveness of the International Financial Institutions," 10 a.m.
  • House Small Business Committee hosts a hearing entitled "Mandating a $15 Minimum Wage: Consequences for Workers and Small Businesses," 10 a.m.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

 

RECAP THE WEEK WITH ON THE MONEY: