(Reuters) – Nonfarm payrolls increased 120,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, in line with economists’ expectations for a gain of 122,000.
The relative strength of the report was also bolstered by revisions to the employment counts for September and October to show 72,000 more jobs created than previously reported.
While part of the decline in the unemployment rate from 9.0 percent in October was due to people leaving the labor force, the household survey from which the jobless rate is derived also showed solid gains in employment.
All the increase in nonfarm payrolls in November again came from the private sector, where employment rose 140,000 after increasing 117,000 in October.
Government employment fell by 20,000. Public payrolls have dropped in 10 of the past 11 months as state and local governments have tightened their belts.
Outside of government, job gains were almost across the board, with retail surging 49,800.
Elsewhere, construction payrolls fell 12,000 after losing 15,000 jobs in October. Factory jobs edged up 2,000, with most of the gains coming from automakers.
Health care and social assistance hiring rose 18,700 after adding 30,300 job in October. Temporary hiring — seen as a harbinger for future hiring – increased 22,300 after adding 15,800 jobs last month.
The average work week was unchanged at 34.3 hours, with hourly earnings falling two cents. (Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)