Unemployment remains at 17-year low as U.S. employers add jobs

Unemployment held fast at a 17-year low as American employers added another 228,000 jobs in November, according to the latest upbeat Labor Department statistics.

The numbers released Friday showed continued robust growth in the ninth year of America’s comeback from the recession of the previous decade — with unemployment still at 4.1%.

The latest statistics were so good that U.S. businesses now face an unusual challenge: Finding enough qualified workers to fill their job openings.

“This November report is confirmation that the U.S. economy remains in solid shape at the end of 2017,” said PNC Financial Services chief economist Gus Faucher.

The unemployment rate for Hispanics dipped to 4.7% for the second time this year, tying the record low number. The 2017 stats reflect the lowest Hispanic unemployment numbers since the second quarter of 2006.

First Daughter Ivanka Trump took to Twitter to trumpet the positive numbers for Hispanic workers.

“This Administration and @realDonaldTrump are working hard to create opportunities for all Americans … and we are just getting started!” she said.

But one economist suggesting the still-improving economic landscape signaled this was not the time for the proposed Republican tax overhaul to slash corporate taxes from 35% to 20%.

“The labor market is in great shape,” said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors. “Tax cuts should be used when the economy needs tax cuts and it doesn’t need tax cuts right now.”

The biggest job increases came in manufacturing, with 31,000 jobs added, and construction with 24,000 new positions.

The construction numbers likely reflected in part the post-hurricane rehab work going on in both Texas and Florida.

The arrival of the holiday shopping season led to the hiring of 19,000 new employees in November, according to the latest figures.

Consumer confidence was rising, too, with auto sales and home purchases increasing at the year’s tail end.

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