Employment Numbers Stateside Beat Estimates in November

Figures released Friday show the U.S. economy added 228,000 non-farm payrolls in November, more than economists had forecast.

The report on Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics also showed the unemployment rate remained near a 17-year low of 4.1%.

Overall, the report demonstrated that job creation remained strong even after deadly hurricanes slammed into the southeastern U.S. this fall and temporarily weakened hiring. Economists had forecast that non-farm payrolls increased by 195,000 on net, while the unemployment rate remained at 4.1%.

Wage growth was weaker than expected. Average hourly earnings rose 0.2% from October, and increased by 2.5% compared to November 2016. Some structural forces, including changes in the labour-force makeup between high-income and low-income earners and lower labour market turnover, are likely adding keeping wage growth slow.

Industries that weren't directly impacted by hurricanes, mostly outside of hospitality and construction, maintained strong job growth as several people were forced to stay away from work. That's an indication that the job market remained robust, and was creating enough jobs to absorb new entrants into the labour force.

The manufacturing sector added 31,000 jobs, while its unemployment rate fell to a record-low 2.6%. This shows that it's extending its recovery this year after a slump in 2016 that was partly caused by the stronger dollar.

Retail also had a strong month ahead of the busy holiday-shopping season, adding 18,700 jobs even as thousands of brick-and-mortar stores are being closed.