U.S. Payrolls Surge 266K

They are the kind of numbers on which presidents feast. Jobs popped in November south of the border.

Figures released Friday by the Labor Department showed non-farm payrolls surging by 266,000 and the unemployment rate falling to 3.5%,

Those totals easily beat the Wall Street consensus. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for solid job growth of 187,000 and saw the unemployment rate holding steady from October’s 3.6%.

The jobs growth was the best since January. While hopes already were up, much of that was based on the return of GM workers following a lengthy strike. That dynamic indeed boosted employment in motor vehicles and parts by 41,300, part of an overall 54,000 gain in manufacturing.

The vehicles and parts sector had fallen by 42,800 in October. However, the job gains were spread among a multitude of sectors. Health care added 45,000 positions after contributing just 12,000 in October.