US employers added 321,000 jobs in November, a figure that is well above analysts' forecast of around 225,000 new jobs, figures from the Labor Department published today (December 5th) show. The large gains come after the economy expanded from April through September at its fastest pace in 11 years. It is the latest signal that the United States's economy is on the path to a solid and steady recovery.
The Labor Department says the unemployment rate remained at a six-year low of 5.8 per cent. Job gains have averaged 241,000 a month this year, putting 2014 on track to be the strongest year for hiring since 1999.
Several delivery firms have announced large recruitment plans, including UPS, which said it expects to add up to 95,000 seasonal workers, up from 85,000 last year. FedEx also plans to hire 50,000, up from 40,000.
The National Retail Federation estimates that seasonal retail hiring could grow by about four per cent to as much as 800,000, the BBC reports.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits also fell last week. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped by 17,000 to a seasonally adjusted 297,000 for the week ended November 29th, the Labor Department said.
In addition,the Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI), an index of US leading indicators, increased by 0.9 per cent in October, following a 0.7 per cent increase in September - beating forecasts.
It was also revealed that US inflation was stable, with consumer prices unchanged in October, as low gasoline costs continued to keep inflation at bay.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 (SPX) Index gained 0.1 per cent to 2,073.52 at 10:04 ET today in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1 per cent to 17,924.63
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