As job creation surged in November and unemployment dropped to a half-century low, there’s no doubt that it’s a job seeker’s market.
The stellar report, released by the Labor Department on Friday morning, provided further evidence that the U.S. economy, in the midst of the longest expansion on record, is withstanding a global slowdown. The economy added a robust 266,000 jobs, while the jobless rate edged down slightly to 3.5 percent, the lowest rate since 1969.
“The labor market is continuing at a vigorous pace, and American workers are in a position to find roles they want based on what’s most important to them, such as short commutes, unique benefits and company culture that aligns with their personal values,” said Irina Novoselsky, the CEO of CareerBuilder.
The education and health care industry was by far the strongest, accounting for a staggering 74,000 new workers last month. Health care, in particular, made up about 60,200 of those positions, further solidifying its status as a powerhouse in the labor market, while education was responsible for 13,600. Ambulatory care services contributed 33,900, while physicians made up about 16,100.
The manufacturing sector created a whopping 54,000 jobs last month, though it was boosted mostly by the 41,300 General Motors autoworkers who returned to work after the conclusion of a 40-day strike at the end of October.
“Notable job gains occurred in health care and in professional and technical services,” the government said in a press release. “Employment rose in manufacturing, reflecting the return of workers from a strike.”
Leisure and hospitality created the third-highest amount of jobs -- 45,000 -- buoyed by a 25,300 bump in the food-services industry.
Professional and business services also added a solid 38,000 workers last month. That was followed by transportation and warehousing, with a jump of 15,500.
Still, it wasn’t all positive news: Retail added just 2,000 jobs, even in the midst of the vital holiday shopping season. Wholesale trade, meanwhile, lost 4,300 workers. Those numbers were even worse for the mining and logging industry, which lost 7,000 jobs.