US November unemployment rate unchanged at 5 percent

The U.S. unemployment rate for November held steady at 5 percent while 211,000 jobs were added during the month, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of unemployed persons stood at 7.9 million, which was unchanged, according to the bureau. Over the past year, the unemployment rate and the total number of unemployed people are down 0.8 percent.

Following comments Wednesday by Federal Reserve Bank Chair Janet Yellen signaling a likely hike in interest rates, the steady jobs numbers offer further evidence that the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee could raise rates for the first time since 2006 at its meeting Dec. 15-16.

Friday’s report showed construction, professional and technical services, and health care all gained jobs. The industries of mining and information suffered the biggest losses.

Employment in construction soared by 46,000 over the past month. Approximately 56.5 percent of those jobs were in the field of residential specialty trade contractors. The construction industry has added 259,000 jobs over the past year.

Health care employment grew by 24,000 jobs in November, and professional and technical services added 28,000. Retail trade employment has increased by 284,000 jobs over the past year.

The mining industry lost 11,000 jobs, and the information sector lost 1,000 more over the last month. The mining industry has lost 123,000 jobs in 2015 after a peak in December 2014.

Employment in other industries, such as government, manufacturing and wholesale trade, saw little to no change.

After a 9-cent gain in October, average hourly earnings in November rose 4 cents to $25.25. They have risen 2.3 percent over the past year.

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