New Jobs Data Bolsters Hopes For 2024 Economy

Published Friday, December 8, 2023 at: 7:57 PM EST

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The economy shows no sign of recession but is cooling, and the Federal Reserve is pulling off a feat unprecedented in modern history: eliminating high inflation without causing a U.S. recession.

The economy created 199,000 new jobs in November, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics release Friday morning. The level of job creation is on par with recent U.S. expansion cycles but cooled significantly from the roaring post-pandemic pace of the last three years, which in 2022 had fueled the highest inflation rate in four decades.

The latest economic figures bolster hopes that the Federal Reserve’s aggressive monetary tightening campaign is over. The central bank hiked interest rates 11 times between March 2022 and July 2023 to curb inflation. But further rate hikes are less likely based on evidence inflation has come under control and economic growth is continuing at a sustainable rate.

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Inflation, as measured by the Personal Consumption Expenditure Deflator, an index the Fed refers to in policy pronouncements, has declined from a peak annual rate in June 2022 of 7.1% to 3% in October.  Lowering inflation without causing a recession is unprecedented in post-War America, but the Fed is doing exactly that now. 

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The slowing economy and declining inflation rate buoyed stocks, ticking prices higher for the sixth week in a row. The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index closed Friday at 4604.37, up +0.41% from Thursday and + 0.21% from a week ago. The index is up +105.79% from the March 23, 2020 bear market low and down -4.01% from its January 3, 2022, all-time high.


The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is a market-value weighted index with each stock's weight proportionate to its market value. Index returns do not include fees or expenses. Investing involves risk, including the loss of principal, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance quoted.   ​​​​​​​​


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This article was written by a veteran financial journalist based on data compiled and analyzed by independent economist, Fritz Meyer. While these are sources we believe to be reliable, the information is not intended to be used as financial advice without consulting a professional about your personal situation.

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