The US economy added the largest number of jobs for 10 months in November, with the latest figure comfortably beating analysts’ expectations.
The figures showed 266,000 jobs were added last month, while the jobless rate dipped to 3.5% from 3.6%.
The jobs growth was helped by striking GM workers returning to work and a big rise in healthcare posts.
The US economy has been expanding moderately despite a long-term slump in manufacturing.
Richard Flynn, UK managing director at Charles Schwab, said the latest jobs data had “surpassed expectations”.
“The upbeat data reinforces the strength of both the labour market and consumer confidence, despite slowing global growth and continued trade uncertainty.”
Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said the jobs numbers were “astonishing”, but could be revised down at some point.
The 266,000 rise was “well above” the analyst consensus of 180,000, and considering returning GM workers were part of a net gain of 41,000 in the motor industry, the numbers were “hugely strong”, he said.
“This is wild,” he said. “That [jump is] hard to square with leading indicators, all of which tanked in the late summer and early fall, so it seems like a candidate for a big downward revision.”