U.S. markets roared on Friday after a better-than-expected employment report for November. The Labor Department reported that the economy created 266,000 jobs, lowering unemployment rates to 3.5%, a 50-year low.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average spiked by 267.87 points or 0.96% shortly after the opening bell on Friday. The S&P 500 edged higher by 25.68 points or 0.82%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 75.23 points or 0.88%.
The 266,000 new job gain in November is the biggest gain since January, hinting that the labor market remains healthy despite ongoing economic declines.
The reported job growth topped MarketWatch’s forecast of 180,000, helped by the end of the General Motors (NYSE: GM) auto-workers strike, which added approximately 50,000 jobs to the payrolls number.
The average America paid wage rose by USD 0.07 or 0.2% to USD 28.29 per hour. However, the 12-month rate of hourly wage slipped to 3.1% from 3.2%. Hours worked each week remained flat at 34.4 hours.
Analysts mentioned that the better-than-expected employment report justifies Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s decision to leave interest rates on hold.
“This economy just won’t stop and even with the wheels of growth slowing down to a modest 2 percent, the labor markets continue to astound us by pumping out millions of jobs,” MUFG chief economist Chris Rupkey said.