Another strong national jobs report: 266,000 new jobs. Plus, small business owners plan compensation hikes.

Despite uncertainty, global and national, U.S. employers continue to create jobs at a record-setting pace. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 266,000 new jobs were created in November.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 266,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 3.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains occurred in health care and in professional and technical services. Employment rose in manufacturing, reflecting the return of workers from a strike.

The Wall Street Journal reports,

The U.S. job market strengthened in November, as hiring jumped and unemployment fell to a half-century low, adding fuel to the economic expansion

“This is a ‘who would have thought moment?’” said Becky Frankiewicz, president of staffing company ManpowerGroup’s North America division. “No one would have ever guessed we could be sitting at 3.5% unemployment with 110 months of job gains.”

From the Associated Press:

Steady job growth has helped reassure consumers that the economy is expanding and that their jobs and incomes remain secure. Consumer spending has become an even more important driver of growth as the Trump administration’s trade conflicts have reduced exports and led many businesses to cut spending.

“Today’s jobs report, more than any other report in recent months, squashed any lingering concerns about an imminent recession in the U.S. economy,” said Gad Levanon, an economist at the Conference Board, a business research group. “Consumers are entering the holiday season with both the ability and the willingness to spend.”

To that excellent news, add today’s report from NFIB that small business owners are raising compensation.

Thirty percent of small business owners reported raising compensation and 26% plan to do so in the coming months, the highest level since December 1989, according to NFIB’s monthly jobs report. Owners are adding an average addition of 0.29 workers per firm in November, which is the highest level since May. However, finding qualified workers has remained the top issue with 26% of owners reporting it as their No. 1 problem.

“Despite a tight labor market, small business owners are doing exactly what they said they would do thanks to tax relief. They’re creating new jobs and raising compensation at record levels,” said NFIB President & CEO Juanita D. Duggan. “The only thing holding them back continues to be finding qualified workers, but in spite of that challenge the small business economy is roaring.”