WASHINGTON – U.S. hiring saw a major increase in November according to the Department of Labor – vastly surpassing expectations as 266,000 jobs were created. Many economists had predicted a 180,000 job gain for the month. “The November jobs report vastly outpaced predictions, with 266,000 jobs created,” said Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “With 41,000 jobs in upward revisions for September and October, 6.6 million total jobs have been created since January 2017.” “The unemployment rate of 3.5% matched the September 2019 rate, a level that has not been achieved since 1969. November 2019 marks the 21st consecutive month in which the unemployment rate has been at or below 4 percent. Year-over-year wages have grown at or above 3.0 percent for 16 straight months.” Total labor force participation rests at 63.2 percent, just slightly behind October’s 63.3 percent – which marked the largest percentage of the working population employed or looking for work since 2013. Manufacturing employment rose by 54,000 in November, following a decline of 43,000 in the prior month. Within manufacturing, employment in motor vehicles and parts was up by 41,000 in November, reflecting the return of General Motors workers who were on strike in October.  In manufacturing, the average workweek increased by 0.1 hour to 40.5 hours, while overtime decreased by 0.1 hour to 3.1 hours.  Employment continued to trend up in leisure and hospitality, transportation and warehousing, and financial activities. Logging was among the only industries to see job losses, which coupled with mining, lost 7,000 positions. “Today’s report shows the economy continues to flourish. But we must continue to seek more expansion and opportunities for all Americans—and a critical step in that direction is enactment, now, of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement,” said Scalia