The Labor Department reported Friday that employers added 321,000 jobs in November — a much stronger number than expected — but perhaps even more significant was the biggest gain in average hourly earnings since June 2013. Hourly earnings rose by 0.4 percent in November, double what economists had been expecting…. At the same time, the number of hours worked ticked up by one-tenth, adding to pay envelopes…. The pickup in wage growth is coming as gasoline prices are plunging, providing a double boon for consumers and retailers with the holiday shopping season underway. For the year as a whole, the gain in jobs, with one month still to go, is shaping up as the best in 15 years.
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