U.S. Gains 321,000 Jobs In November; Unemployment 5.8%

The U.S. added 321,000 jobs in November to mark the biggest gain since Jan 2012, and wage growth also accelerated, in one of the strongest employment reports since the Great Recession ended more than five years ago. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a gain of 235,000 nonfarm jobs. Hiring was also revised up by a combined 44,000 in the prior two months, the Labor Department said Friday. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, remained unchanged at 5.8% as more people entered the labor force in search of work. Average hourly wages jumped 9 cents, or 0.4%, after two weak readings, although the 12-month increase was little changed at 2.1%. Year over year increases have stuck to a tight range of 1.9% to 2.2% since 2012. The amount of time people worked each week, matched a post-recession high of 34.6 hours. The government said 243,000 new jobs were created in October, up from a preliminary 214,000. September's gain was raised to 271,000 from 256,000. So far in 2014 the economy has gained an average of 239,000 jobs a month - the fastest rate in at least 15 years.

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