WASHINGTON (12/8/14)--The 321,000 new jobs added in November marked the biggest improvement in nearly three years, according to Labor Department numbers released Friday.
For 10 straight months, the economy has added at least 200,000 jobs per month, generating a total of 2.65 million new jobs in 2014 (MarketWatch Dec. 5).
Additionally the Labor Department reported the nation's unemployment rate held steady at 5.8%--a six-year low.
"November's employment report was a knock out," Neil Dutta, head of economics at Renaissance Macro Research, told MarketWatch.
The three-month average of 278,000 job adds marks a clear acceleration in job growth, Moody's analysts noted (Economy.com Dec. 5). Gains were seen across nearly every major industry in private services, with professional and business category adding 86,000 jobs, up from 52,000. Going into the holiday season, retailers added 50,000 workers.
Jobs are well-diversified across lower-paying retail jobs, middle-income construction and manufacturing jobs, and high-paying positions in professional services and health care.
Both total and nonsupervisory wage growth rose during November, Moody's analyst Sophia Koropeckyj noted, with wages of all workers increasing by 0.4% month to month, or 4.5% on an annualized basis. Wage gains are expected to accelerate in earnest next year, she added.
Employment gains are expected to accelerate and peak in early 2016 with more than 300,000 jobs per month, and unemployment will hit 5% by 2017, the Moody's analyst noted.