WASHINGTON – The U.S. economy generated another month of solid hiring in November, making it highly likely the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates from record lows later this month.
The Labor Department says employers added 211,000 jobs last month, led by big gains in construction and retail. Hiring was revised higher in October and September by a combined 35,000 jobs.
The unemployment rate remained 5 percent for the second straight month as more Americans entered the workforce to look for jobs.
The robust hiring is the latest sign that steady consumer spending is powering the economy even as weak growth overseas and low oil prices squeeze manufacturers. Factories shed 1,000 jobs.
Pay gains last month were modest. Average hourly wages rose 2.3 percent from 12 months earlier.