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BLS Jobs Report: 321,000 Jobs Added, Beating Expectations

Prior to this morning's report from the Labor Department, economists were predicting gains of 230,000 jobs for November. Instead, The Employment Situation Summary reported the addition of 321,000 jobs to non-farm payrolls last month. This marks the tenth straight month of 200,000-plus job gains. Unemployment held steady from last month's report at 5.8 percent.

Prior to this morning’s report from the Labor Department, economists were predicting gains of 230,000 jobs for November. Instead, The Employment Situation Summary reported the addition of 321,000 jobs to non-farm payrolls last month. This marks the tenth straight month of 200,000-plus job gains. Unemployment held steady from last month’s report at 5.8 percent.

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(Photo Credit: brownpau/Flickr)

“If you don’t like this one nothing is going to make you happy,” PNC economist Stuart Hoffman tells Forbes, which also reports TD Ameritrade Chief Strategist JJ Kinahan’s observation that this increase and revisions to previous months’ reports were “outside any estimate I had seen even on the high side. This is a home run in terms of jobs created.”

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The Department of Labor Statistics revised its numbers upward for the previous two months, adding an additional 44,000 jobs total to its September and October reports.

The economy saw gains professional and business services (+86,000 jobs), retail trade (+50,000 jobs), heathcare (+29,000 jobs), manufacturing (+28,000 jobs), financial activities (+20,000 jobs), transportation and warehousing (+17,000 jobs), food services and drinking places (+27,000 jobs), and construction (+20,000 jobs).

The average workweek increased by 0.1 hour to 34.6 hours, and wages rose by 9 cents to $24.66. Average hourly wages have risen 2.1 percent over the course of the year. The PayScale Index, which tracks and forecasts employee earnings, predicts a 0.3 percent increase for the fourth quarter.

In other words, as Jordan Weissmann puts it at Slate, “the job market isn’t getting so hot that employees suddenly have the power to ask for a significant raise. When that happens, then we’ll really have something to celebrate.”

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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