NEW YORK: Non-farm payrolls increased 211,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. September and October data was revised to show 35,000 more jobs than previously reported.
The unemployment rate held at a 7-1/2-year low of 5 percent, even as people returned to the labor force in a sign of confidence in the jobs market. The jobless rate is in a range many Fed officials see as consistent with full employment and has dropped seven-tenths of a percentage point this year.
The closely watched employment report came a day after Fed Chair Janet Yellen struck an upbeat note on the economy when she testified before lawmakers, describing how it had largely met the criteria the U.S. central bank has set for the Fed's first rate hike since June 2006.
U.S. short-term interest-rate futures contracts were lower on Friday after the government reported stronger-than-expected jobs growth in November, prompting traders to boost their bets on Federal Reserve rate hikes this month and next year.
Juan Perez, currency strategist, Tempus Consulting:
"The most important thing from the reading is it's in line with expectations.
The change is obviously a positive because it's above 200,000, and last month's was revised up to 298,000.
The main thing that Fed officials have been pointing out has been the tightening in the labor market, so it's obviously a very good thing.
Looking at yesterday, obviously a lot of people took positions on euro weakness and so far the reaction has been somewhat muted.