Skip to content
Opinion
Brian Chappatta

An Odd Jobs Report Keeps Fed on Tapering Fast Track

A sharply lower unemployment rate is just one of sign of labor-market strength from the government’s household survey, which should be the central bank’s focus. 

The November jobs report gave off mixed signals.

The November jobs report gave off mixed signals.

Photographer: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Even by Covid-era standards, the latest U.S. jobs report was downright bizarre. 

Two headlines hit at the same time. The bad one: U.S. employers added just 210,000 workers in November, less than half of the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists, which called for a 550,000 gain. The good one: The unemployment rate tumbled to 4.2%, down from 4.6% and beating estimates for a more modest dip to 4.5%.