US unemployment fell to 5.0 percent in October, the lowest rate since early 2008, as the economy pumped out a solid 271,000 net new jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday.
The new numbers, representing a firm rebound from two weak months, added evidence that the economy is growing solidly despite a global downturn: the number of new jobs was nearly double those added in September.
In a further sign of progress, average hourly earnings of US workers also surged in the month, up by nearly 2.5 percent from a year earlier, after slower growth over much of this year.
With analysts having expected a tepid 181,000 net new positions and the jobless rate holding at 5.1 percent, the fresh data gave support to beliefs that the Federal Reserve will embark on a long-awaited series of interest rate hikes in December.
The dollar surged sharply to $1.0734 per one euro, its strongest level since April (LSE: 0N69.L – news) , and US bond yields jumped, the 10-year Treasury rising to 2.32 percent from 2.23 percent on Thursday.