U.S. job growth continues

Job growth continues in the United States with the addition of more than 200,000 new positions to payrolls.

The monthly unemployment rate held steady at 5 percent, the lowest level in more than seven years.

Nonfarm payrolls increased 211,000 in November, according to the latest Labor Department estimates.

Moreover, initial estimates for job gains in October and September were revised upward a total of 35,000 to 298,000 and 145,000 respectively. With the latest numbers, monthly payroll gains have averaged 218,000 over the past three months and 237,000 over the past year.

Still, the number of people counted among the long-term unemployed who’ve been out of work for 27 weeks or longer was little changed in November at 2.1 million. The ranks of those counted as working part-time because their hours had been cut or they’re unable to find full-time positions  jumped 319,000 to 6.1 million. The civilian labor force participation rate edged up a tenth of a point to 62.5 percent.

Construction payrolls increased 46,000 in November, while food services and drining places added 32,000 jobs and retail trade employment rose 31,000. Professional and business services added 28,000 jobs and health care employment rose 24,000.

The information sector shed a net 12,000 jobs with layoffs in motion pictures and sound recording. Payrolls declined another 11,000 in the mining sector, bringing to 123,000 the number of jobs lost since the last employment peak in December 2014.

The average workweek for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls slipped a tenth of an hour to 34.5 hours. The manufacturing workweek held steady at 40.7 hours.

Average hourly earnings for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls rose 4 cents to $25.25. Over the past year, hourly earnings have increased 2.3 percent.