U.S. economy is capping 2014 with a strong rally

U.S. employers ramped up hiring in November, keeping the economy on track to record its strongest year of job creation in 15 years.

Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 321,000 in November, the strongest month of hiring since January 2012, the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The economy has now added at least 200,000 jobs for 10 consecutive months, the longest such stretch in more than 30 years. A similar increase in hiring in December would result in the largest annual gain in employment since 1999. Through November, the U.S. economy has generated 2.63 million new jobs in 2014.

The unemployment rate, which is obtained from a separate survey of U.S. households, was 5.8 percent in November, unchanged from the prior month and remaining at its lowest level since mid-2008.

The bulk of the new jobs were concentrated in white-collar professions, retail, health care and manufacturing. The business sector led the way again, creating 86,000 jobs. Retailers also added 50,000 workers to gear up for what is expected to be the best holiday shopping season since the recession ended.

The heath care industry added 29,000 personnel. Manufacturers created 28,000 jobs, the largest increase in a year. Financial companies such as banks and brokerages hired 20,000 employees, and the construction trade generated 20,000 jobs.

Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, was impressed with the gains.

“These data show that the more-robust growth in new orders and output seen in other indicators are beginning to translate into healthier hiring figures,” Moutray said. “Indeed, manufacturing leaders remain mostly upbeat in their outlook, which should bode well for hiring in the sector as we move into 2015.”

The U.S. Labor Department reports for September and October were revised to show 44,000 more jobs created than previously reported, adding more sparkle to the report.

Wall Street is taking note of the robust job creation rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 84 points this morning 17,985, inching ever closer to the 20,000 mark.

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