The US labour market is on fire.
According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labour Statistics, nonfarm payrolls grew by 321,000 in November, crushing expectations for 230,000.
This is the biggest single-month gain in payrolls since January 2012.
The unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.8%.
This marks the 10th straight month that the US economy saw payrolls grow by more than 200,000, the longest such streak since 1995.
October’s report was also revised higher, from an initial reading of 214,000 job gains to 243,000.
According to the BLS’ release: “In November, job growth was widespread, led by gains in professional and business services, retail trade, health care, and manufacturing.”
Payrolls grew by 50,000 in the retail sector in November, with healthcare adding 29,000 jobs, manufacturing adding 28,000 jobs, and professional and business services jobs growing by 86,000.
The “U-6” unemployment rate, which also includes those who are working part time for economic reasons and those marginally attached to the labour force, fell to 11.4% from 11.5%.
The labour force participation rate also held steady at 62.8%.
Wage gains were a bit better than expected, with wages growing 0.4% month-on-month, better than expected. Year-over-year, wage growth came in at 2.1%, which was in line with expectations. The average hourly wage for all private nonfarm employees was $US24.66.
The average weekly hours worked totaled 34.6, in line with expectations.
In addition to October’s upward revision, September’s gains were also revised up to 271,000 from 256,000.
Here is what Wall Street was expecting for Friday’s report:
- Nonfarm payrolls: +230,000
- Private payrolls: +225,000
- Unemployment rate: 5.8%
- Average hourly earnings, month-on-month: +0.2%
- Average hourly earnings, year-on-year: +2.1%
- Average weekly hours worked: 34.6