Hiring surged in November as GM workers ended strike

Businesses hired a robust 266,000 people in November, sending down the nation’s unemployment rate a notch to 3.5%, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday.

The numbers got a bit of an artificial boost from the end of the General Motors strike by autoworkers, which added about 40,000 workers onto the payrolls who had been missing in October’s jobs figure. But major industries like health care, professional and technical services and leisure and hospitality all grew robustly in November.

Average hourly wages grew 3.1% from the year before.

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November’s figure overshoots economists’ expectations that about 180,000 new jobs would be added. Numbers for two prior months were also revised to show an additional 40,000 jobs created.

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