The job market in the U.S. continued to grow in November, adding 228,000 jobs as the unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent, the lowest since 2000. It was the 86th consecutive month that the economy has added jobs.
After a rash of hurricanes across the country slowed job growth in September and October, November exceeded economists’ expectations of 200,000 jobs and blew away the 2017 average of 174,000 jobs per month. In the first 11 months of the year, the economy has added 1.97 million jobs.
Wages in November also ticked up, rising by 0.2 percent, which is up by 2.5 percent, or 64 cents, over this time last year. That brings the average hourly wage up to $26.55. The jump in wages in November was accompanied by an increase in time worked. The average workweek was up to 34.5 hours, a modest jump from October.
In a statement, the White House celebrated the report and gave credit to the tax cuts President Trump hopes to sign into law soon. “With tax reform moving quickly through Congress, confidence in the strength of our economy remains high and families around the country are reaping the benefits,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
But some think the tax cut could actually hurt what is clearly already a growing economy. “The labor market is in great shape. Tax cuts should be used when the economy needs tax cuts and it doesn’t need tax cuts right now,” Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors, told the Associated Press.