NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – Has the job market finally hit its stride? Hiring continued at a solid pace in November, and the unemployment rate fell to a five-year low … for the right reasons.
The U.S. economy added 203,000 jobs in November. Economists surveyed by CNNMoney had predicted payroll gains of 183,000 jobs.
The unemployment rate fell to 7.0% — the lowest level since November 2008, as more people said they got jobs and joined the labor force.
This is encouraging news for the 11 million Americans who remain unemployed. The job market has been improving for three years now, but at a frustratingly slow pace.
The hiring was broad based, with big gains for sectors that tend to pay low wages as well as those that offer higher salaries. While retailers, restaurants and bars all hired more workers, traditionally higher wage sectors boasted even stronger job growth.
For example, professional and business services added 35,000 jobs.