US adds healthy 211,000 jobs, making rate hike appear virtually certain
WASHINGTON - There's even less doubt now that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates later this month.
The government says November brought some more hiring, with employers adding 211,000 jobs. The unemployment rate remained a low 5 percent for a second straight month. More Americans began looking for jobs in November, and most found them.
Job gains were broad-based across the economy in November. Construction companies added 46,000 jobs, the most in two years.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen said this week that the economy appears to be improving enough to justify a rate hike, as long as there are no major shocks before the Fed meets on December 15th and 16th.
Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, says the jobs report shows that the economy "is strong enough to withstand an initial hike in interest rates." He says a December increase "now looks to be in the bag."
Wages are continuing to rise, but not so much as to cause concern about future high inflation. In November, average hourly wages were up 2.3 percent from a year earlier.