U.S. job growth increased solidly in November in a show of the economy’s resilience, which most likely paves the way for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this month for the first time in nearly a decade.
Nonfarm payrolls increased 211,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. September and October data was revised to show 35,000 more jobs than previously reported.
The unemployment rate held at a 7-1/2-year low of 5 percent, even as people returned to the labor force in a sign of confidence in the jobs market. The jobless rate is in a range many Fed officials see as consistent with full employment and has dropped seven-tenths of a percentage point this year.
“We cleared the last hurdle for a rate increase. The Fed was looking for some positive movement on wages, and we got a little bit of that. There is absolutely nothing in this report that will keep the Fed from raising rates,” said Chris Gaffney, president at EverBank World Markets in St. Louis.