The economy gained a stronger-than-expected 223,000 jobs and the unemployment rate edged down to an 18-year low. President Trump hinted at a strong report more than an hour before its release.
The largest increase in jobs in 1 1/2 years was accompanied by a 2.6 percent year-on-year increase in wages, a slowdown from January's pace. The unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent.
The U.S. added 178,000 new jobs in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which was about what was expected. However, wages dropped slightly, after an 11-cent gain in October.
The economy keeps adding jobs at a steady pace, including 223,000 in June, but the Labor Department report for last month shows more people are also leaving the labor force and wages are not rising.
Friday's jobs report showed tepid wage growth in April. Hours after its release, President Obama gave a speech arguing that a new trade deal would strengthen the labor market. Opponents disagree.