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U.S. hiring slows in November, jobless rate dives

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U.S. employers added far fewer jobs than expected in November, as millions of unemployed Americans likely remained home. But the unemployment rate dropped sharply. Fred Katayama reports.

The pace of hiring slowed abruptly in the U.S. last month. New figures from the Labor Department out Friday show the economy added 210,000 new jobs in November – significantly below economists’ forecasts for as many as half a million, in line with the hiring surge in October.

But at the same time, the unemployment rate plunged, down to 4.2 percent – the lowest level since February 2020, just before the coronavirus pandemic.

And average wages rose.

The report paints a picture of a workforce that still hasn’t fully recovered after a year of health-related restrictions. Millions who lost their jobs have not returned to work. And the spread of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus poses a continued risk to the economic rebound.

Investors, however, initially liked the report, sending stocks higher at the market open. The less-than-stellar hiring number eased investors concerns about the Federal Reserve’s quicker tightening of monetary policy.

Analysts say the report probably won’t change the Fed’s timeline for paring back its massive bond purchases. But it could give the central bank more room to say it doesn’t have to accelerate the pace of reducing those purchases, especially amid the uncertainty posed by the Omicron variant.

Earlier this week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank would consider a faster wind-down to its bond-buying program, which Wall Street saw as opening the door to earlier hikes in interest rates.

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China conducts ‘punishment’ war games near Taiwan

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China initiated military ‘punishment’ exercises in the waters surrounding Taiwan in response to the newly inaugurated President Lai Ching-te.

These drills come amid escalating tensions in the region, with Beijing asserting its sovereignty over Taiwan, denouncing the inauguration of President Lai Ching-te and labelling this one of several “separatist acts”, as reported by Reuters.

These military manoeuvres are seen as a show of force and a warning to Taiwan and its supporters against any moves perceived as challenging China’s territorial claims.

President Lai has repeatedly offered talks with China but has been rebuffed.

He says only Taiwan’s people can decide their future, and rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims.

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Money

Apple Music’s controversial top 10 albums of all time

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Apple Music has released its highly anticipated “100 Best Albums of All Time” list, with the top 10 rankings causing a bittersweet symphony of destruction for some music lovers.

The list was curated by a panel of experts and based on various factors including cultural impact, critical acclaim, and commercial success, with the aim to celebrate the most influential and timeless albums across genres.

As reported by the official Apple Music Newsroom blog post, the top ten best albums of all time are the following:

10. Lemonade (2016), Beyoncé

9. Nevermind (1991), Nirvana 

8. Back to Black (2006), Amy Winehouse

7. good kid, m.A.A.d city (2012), Kendrick Lamar

6. Songs in the Key of Life (1976), Stevie Wonder

5. Blonde (2016), Frank Ocean

4. Purple Rain (1984), Prince & The Revolution

3. Abbey Road (1969), The Beatles

2. Thriller (1982), Michael Jackson

1. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998), Lauryn Hill

In other news, Apple recently became the first company to hit a $3 trillion stock market value, before falling just below that milestone, as reported by Reuters.

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Leaders

Essential daily protein needs for better health

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Protein is a fundamental macronutrient essential for various bodily functions, including muscle repair, enzyme production, and immune system support.

Daily protein requirements can vary significantly based on factors such as activity levels, age, and gender.

To help unpack this topic, Kate Save from BeFitFood joins to share her key insights. #featured

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