Job growth in the U.S. showed a substantial acceleration in the month of November, according to a closely watched report released by the Labor Department on Friday. The report said non-farm payroll employment surged up by 266,000 jobs in November after climbing by an upwardly revised 156,000 jobs in October. Economists had expected an increase of about 180,000 jobs compared to the addition of 128,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month. The much stronger than expected job growth was partly due to a rebound in manufacturing employment, which climbed by 54,000 jobs in November after falling by 43,000 jobs in October amid the return of striking General Motors (GM) workers. The Labor Department also pointed to notable job gains in the healthcare and professional and technical services industries. With the stronger than expected job growth, the unemployment rate edged down to 3.5 percent in November from 3.6 percent in October. The unemployment rate was expected to remain unchanged. The unexpected decrease pulled the unemployment rate back down to the nearly 50-year low originally hit in September. The drop by the unemployment rate came as a muted 83,000-person rise in the household survey measure of employment outpaced an even weaker 40,000-person increase in the size of the labor force. "Despite today's blowout number, the US economy is experiencing a slowdown and we expect this to be reflected in weaker payrolls gains in coming months," said ING Chief International Economist James Knightley. He added, "The weak global growth environment, as underlined by disappointing German industrial numbers, the strong dollar and the ongoing trade tensions with China, has prompted a more cautious attitude from US business and already resulted in two consecutive quarters of falling capital expenditure." Knightley said capital spending is likely to continue to contact in the fourth quarter as uncertainty and softening demand growth sap confidence. The Labor Department said average hourly employee earnings rose $0.07 or 0.2 percent to $28.29 in November. Annual wage growth slowed to 3.1 percent in November from an upwardly revised 3.2 percent in October.
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