The final jobs report of the calendar year points to an economy entering 2016 with solid tailwinds that should help knock down the unemployment rate further next year.
Employers added a better than expected 211,000 new jobs in November and the jobless rate held steady at 5 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.
“Job growth is strong and steady,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. “Full employment is fast coming into view.”
Here are three important takeaways:
Job growth broad
Economists cheered both the revisions to October numbers and hiring gains across most sectors. October’s strong 271,000 number was revised upward, with the government now saying it was actually 298,000. It means there is momentum in the jobs market into 2016.
The party holding the White House tends to benefit when the economy is strong. Absent unforeseen events on the global stage, the economy is expected to further improve next year. Hiring is solid and accelerating as the nation readies to select a new president.
Two solid months of hiring gives the Federal Reserve room later this month to finally raise its benchmark interest rate for the first time in almost a decade. The action, expected on Dec. 16, is dubbed “liftoff,” since it will begin a slow years-long upward climb in lending rates across the economy.