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Nation's Jobs Numbers Hold Steady, Interest Rates Poised to Rise

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The U.S. Labor Department reported early Friday the nation's economy had added approximately 211,000 jobs in November—not enough to change the current unemployment rate of 5 percent, but enough to lead more economists to guess the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates later this month. It would be the first interest rate hike in nearly a decade.

In addition to the 211,000 new jobs in November, the Labor Department revised its September and October figures to include 35,000 more jobs than had been previously reported.

The U.S. unemployment rate is still at a 7 1/2-year low of 5 percent, and average hourly earnings rose in November by about 0.2 percent and were about 2.3 percent higher than a year ago.

There were job gains in several year U.S. employment sectors in November, but the Labor Department reported the mining industry was hit hard with a loss of about 11,000 jobs last month. The good news is the retail sector added 30,700 jobs and construction payrolls increased by 46,000 last month.