Employers in the U.S. added 321,000 jobs in November, the most since January 2012, driving wage gains and highlighting increased corporate confidence the economy will endure a weakening in global markets.
The advance in payrolls exceeded the most optimistic projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists and followed a 243,000 gain in October that was stronger than previously reported, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. The jobless rate held at a six-year low of 5.8 percent. Average hourly earnings rose 0.4 percent, the biggest gain since June of last year.
Persistent job growth that’s generating income gains and stoking demand increases the likelihood of employment opportunities for even more Americans. The improvement in the labor market will probably help assure Federal Reserve policy makers that the world’s biggest economy is strong enough to withstand an increase in borrowing costs next year.
“The labor market continues to be strong and healthy,” Kathleen Bostjancic, a financial-market economist at Oxford Economics in New York, said before the report. As the “payroll numbers continue at a healthy clip and wages pick up, hours are decent — you have that trifecta — that puts pressure on the Fed to raise rates sooner rather than later.”
Job growth was broad-based last month, with factory payrolls rising the most in a year and professional and business services taking on the largest number of workers since November 2010. Hiring at retailers also picked up.
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