(CN) – American employers added 266,000 new jobs last month while the already low unemployment rate sank even further.
The number of new positions added to the U.S. economy is the most since January. It’s a sign that employers don’t seem to be worried about President Donald Trump’s trade wars and a slowing global economy.
The unemployment rate fell from 3.6% to 3.5%, marking a 50-year low last seen in September, according to a Labor Department report released Friday.
Average hourly wages are also up 3.1% from this time last year and currently stand at $28.29 an hour.
Stocks opened higher Friday morning after the better-than-expected report.
While the jobs numbers were partly boosted by nearly 50,000 auto workers returning to work after a General Motors strike, they are still surprisingly strong. The surge in new jobs easily beat economists’ predictions of about 190,000 added positions.
It likely means that the Federal Reserve – which has cut its key interest rate three times this year and meets again next week – is unlikely to slash the rate again anytime soon.
The health care industry added 45,000 new jobs in November, as did the leisure and hospitality sector.
There were 31,000 new positions in professional and technical services last month, and manufacturing added 54,000 jobs after losing 43,000 the month before.
Transportation and warehousing added 16,000 jobs. The mining industry, however, lost 7,000 jobs while the construction and government sectors saw little change.
Job growth has averaged 180,000 new positions per month so far this year, compared to 223,000 per month in 2018.
The U.S. economy entered its 11th consecutive year of growth this summer, the longest streak on record. Economists expect yearly growth of about 2.5% in 2019, compared to 2.9% last year.