The U.S. economy added 263,000 jobs in November, and the nation’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 263,000 in November, a figure roughly in line with average job growth over the prior three months (+282,000).

Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality (+88,000), healthcare (+45,000), and government (+42,000) in November. Construction (+20,000) and manufacturing jobs (+14,000) also continued to trend up. However, employment declined in retail trade (-30,000) and in transportation and warehousing (-15,000).

The continued overall increase in hiring and wages are a blow to the Federal Reserve Board’s efforts to tamp down inflation by raising interest rates. Wages rose 0.6% in November to an average of $32.82 per hour, which is a 5.1% increase over the last 12 months.

The stock market fell in early trading Friday and Treasury bond yields rose after the release of the stronger-than-expected jobs report, which is the last one before the central bank meets on Dec. 12 and Dec. 13 to make its next decision on interest rates.

Despite the 88,000 jobs added in the leisure and hospitality industry last month, including 62,000 in restaurants and bars, employment in this sector remains 5.8% below pre-pandemic levels when there were 980,000 employees working in this sector.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4%), adult women (3.3%), teenagers (11.3%), Whites (3.2%), Blacks (5.7%), Asians (2.7%), and Hispanics (3.9%) showed little or no change over the month of November.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed
at 1.2 million in November. The long-term unemployed accounted for 20.6% of all unemployed persons. The labor force participation rate, at 62.1% in November, has shown little net change since early this year.

The labor force participation rate, which shows the percentage of people working or actively looking for work, is down 1.3 percentage points since the COVID-19 pandemic began in February 2020.