Wow. I didn’t expect this.
The jobs market turned in a stellar performance in November, with nonfarm payrolls surging by 266,000 and the unemployment rate falling to 3.5%, according to Labor Department numbers released Friday.
Those totals easily beat the Wall Street consensus. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for solid job growth of 187,000 and saw the unemployment rate holding steady from October’s 3.6%.
The jobs growth was the best since January. While hopes already were up, much of that was based on the return of GM workers following a lengthy strike. That dynamic indeed boosted employment in motor vehicles and parts by 41,300, part of an overall 54,000 gain in manufacturing.
With unemployment already being so low, it is really challenging to have this much job growth. There just aren’t enough people in the workforce to fill the jobs. This means that more people are coming off the bench to fill jobs.
This is also encouraging:
Average hourly earnings rose by 3.1% from a year ago, while the average work week held steady at 34.4 hours.
Jobs up. Earnings up. Good stuff.