3 things to know about the November 2014 jobs report

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Unlike the live Peter Pan musical, the November jobs report released this morning far exceeded everyone’s expectations.

THREE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE NOVEMBER JOBS REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

Unlike the live Peter Pan musical that just aired on TV, the November jobs report released this morning far exceeded everyone’s expectations. U.S. employers added a whopping 321,000 jobs in November — a level of monthly job growth we haven’t seen since January 2012. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 percent.

Sure looks like the labor market decided to heat up as most of the country braced itself for a deep freeze.

Following each month’s jobs report, we read dozens of news reports, scour the Web, and break what we find down to three key talking points you can use to contribute to an informative economy-related discussion.

HERE’S THE NEWS YOU CAN USE FROM TODAY’S RELEASE:

A “home run” for job growth. That’s the type of language that some experts are using to describe today’s jobs report. To be fair, today’s jobs report numbers far exceeded economists’ expectations. Whereas predictions were around the 225,000-235,000 range, the actual number of jobs added in November was almost 100,000 more. (I’ll let that sink in for a minute.)

This also means we continue our streak of 200,000-plus monthly job gains for the tenth month in a row — the last time that happened was 1995. In addition, September and October jobs numbers were revised up by +15,000 and +29,000 respectively, for a total of 44,000 additional jobs. Probably the best quote, as one economist told Forbes, is this: “If you don’t like this one nothing is going to make you happy.” So there you go.

Wage gains were impressive. Yet another bright spot that everyone’s talking about from today’s jobs report is the increase in hourly pay. In fact, average hourly earnings registered the strongest growth since June 2013. According to The New York Times:

Hourly earnings rose by 0.4 percent in November, double what economists had been expecting even as the number of hours people were working ticked up a tenth as well. That gain in hourly pay was significantly above the measly 0.1 percent increase in October, let alone the unchanged number in September.

Let’s just say even the hardest-to-please people would be a little impressed.

3. There was healthy growth across industries.While some industries led the way in November — including professional and business services (86,000 jobs added), retail (50,000 jobs added), health care (29,000 jobs added) and manufacturing (28,000 jobs added) — other industries did post job gains as well.

Did you miss the August, September and October jobs report breakdown? It’s never too late to catch up on some economy-related reading.