Solid Job Gains Wage Growth In November

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Labor Department is reporting better than expected unemployment numbers for November.

It says employers added a solid 94,000 jobs to their payrolls last month and the unemployment rate held steady for the third straight month at 4.7 percent. At the same time, wages grew briskly.

The performance was better than economists were expecting. They were forecasting that the unemployment rate would rise a nudge to 4.8 percent, with employers boosting payrolls by around 70,000.

The health of the nation's job market is a key factor determining whether the economy will survive stresses from the housing collapse and credit crunch. Job and wage growth have served as shock absorbers for the economy, supporting consumer spending, which is a major shaper of overall economic activity.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)