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 230,000 jobs in November, slightly higher than analysts had predicted, showing that despite the government shutdown in the fall, the economy is picking up momentum. The new jobs brought the unemployment rate down to 7 percent, a five-year low. The numbers were slightly inflated by the return of furloughed federal employees to work after the shutdown, but the gains go beyond the effects of government payrolls.
"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.
"This was a strong, good quality report, showing continuing momentum," said Deloitte's Chief Financial Officer Frank Friedman. Deloitte alone is planning to hire about 18,000 people this year in its tax auditing and consulting businesses.
"We're optimistic about 2014, and we continue to hire at a pretty robust pace."
- The transportation and warehousing sector added 30,500 jobs.
- Health care added 28,000 jobs.
- Manufacturers hired 27,000 workers.
- Construction companies hired 17,000.
- State and local governments added 14,000 workers.
The United States lost 8.7 million jobs in the aftermath of the financial crisis. As of November, it had gained about 7.4 million of those jobs back.