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November 2014: Jobs and Wages Rising

December 7, 2014
Plain English Version
85 years ago, building the Empire State Building in New York City.

85 years ago, building the Empire State Building in New York City.

Experts say the economy might finally be turning around. In November, there were thousands of new jobs. Even better, hourly wages made a big gain.

One said, “The pairing of strong hiring and wage gains shows a healthy economy. We want to see people coming back into the work force. We want them finding the right jobs for them in terms of wages, skills, and hours.”

Lower gas prices are also helping consumers.

The results for December are ahead. However, 2014 is shaping up as the best year for job growth in 15 years. The holiday season looks to be a good one for consumers and retailers.

Some experts are not so sure. They wonder if November is a sign of real change. The growth may just be catching up from the low level of previous years.

The next question is about interest rates. The Federal Reserve has kept the rates near zero. The Fed is always worrying about inflation, which means higher prices. Many economists believe the Fed will raise interest rates sometime during the first half of 2015.

Another good sign is the increase in hiring by manufacturers.

Americans are still worried. The rate of unemployment has dropped from 9.9 percent five years ago to 5.8 percent today. However, experts say unemployment needs to go below 5 percent. If that happens, wages will go up even further.

The lower gas prices will help the economy. A year ago, the average gallon of gas was $3.26. Today, it is $2.77. If prices stay down, the typical family will save about $600 over the next year.

Another  positive sign is that home values are going up.

All in all, November’s news is very good.

Source: The Wall Street Journal December 5, 2014

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