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US economy added 211,000 jobs in November 2015, slightly above expectations.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the jobless rate held at its seven-and-a-half year low of 5%.

The jobs stats showed that the construction, food services and retail sectors all saw healthy job increases.

The robust figures could now pave the way for the first US interest rate rise in close to 10 years later this month.US jobs November 2015

Labor market strength is an important consideration for the Federal Reserve over whether to move interest rates.

On December 3, Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s signaled to a joint Congressional committee that the Federal Reserve was on track for a December rates rise.

The Fed, whose policy-setting committee will meet on December 15 and 16, cut rates to near-zero in December 2008 in response to the financial crisis.

The labor bureau also revised September and October’s figures to show 35,000 more jobs than had been previously reported.

Meanwhile, average hourly earnings increased by four cents to $25.25, or 0.2%, following a 0.4% rise in October.

Sectors which did not fare well in November were manufacturing, which shed 1,000 posts, and mining, which lost 11,000 positions.