U.S. job growth cleared expectations in November with 211,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate holding steady at 5 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning.

Economists had expected 190,000 new jobs.

Following a the strongest month of job growth in October, November's jobs gains are easily enough to assure officials at the Federal Reserve that there is no imminent threat to the jobs recovery. The report is likely to seal expectations that the central bank will raise interest rates at its upcoming December meeting, capping seven years of emergency measures to counteract the financial crisis.

After some fears about a serious slowdown in the late summer, payroll gains have accelerated back to an average of 218,000 over the past three months, when Friday's report is taken into account. Revisions in Friday's release to the past two months' reports revealed that job growth was greater than originally thought, by 35,000.

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