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New job totals beat expectations as U.S. hot streak continues

The economy has so far created 4.3 million jobs this year, which is an extraordinary total, and which would've been tough to predict early last year.


Expectations heading into this morning showed projections of around 200,000 new jobs having been added in the United States in November. As it turns out, according to the new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the preliminary tally suggests the domestic job market did quite a bit better than that. CNBC reported this morning:

Job growth was much better than expected in November despite the Federal Reserve’s aggressive efforts to slow the labor market and tackle inflation. Nonfarm payrolls increased 263,000 for the month while the unemployment rate was 3.7%, the Labor Department reported Friday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for an increase of 200,000 on the payrolls number and 3.7% for the jobless rate.

There’s still one month left in 2022, but at this point the U.S. economy has created 4.3 million jobs this year, and that total may yet climb higher before the year ends. By any fair measure, that’s an extraordinary total.

As for the politics, let’s circle back to previous coverage to put the data in perspective. Over the course of the first three years of Donald Trump’s term — when the then-president said the United States’ economy was the greatest in the history of the planet — the economy created roughly 6.4 million jobs, spanning all of 2017, 2018 and 2019.

According to the latest tally, the U.S. economy has created 11 million jobs since January 2021 — far in excess of the combined total of Trump’s first three years. In fact, this year’s total to date exceeds any individual year of the former president’s term.

In recent months, Republicans have responded to developments like these by pretending not to notice them. I have a hunch GOP officials will keep the trend going today.

Postscript: For some additional context, consider job growth by year over the past decade:

2013: 2.3 million

2014: 3 million

2015: 2.7 million

2016: 2.3 million

2017: 2.1 million

2018: 2.3 million

2019: 2 million

2020: -9.3 million

2021: 6.7 million

2022 (so far): 4.3 million

In early 2021, such a turnaround would’ve been very difficult to believe. And yet, here we are.