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The figures add to other recent signs that the economy is expanding at a decent pace. Growth reached 3.2 percent at an annual pace in the July-September quarter, the government said Tuesday, much higher than the 1.1-percent rate in the first half of the year. Americans bought homes at the fastest pace in a decade in October and consumer confidence is at a nine-year high.
By one measure, home prices nationwide have finally surpassed their bubble-era peaks, boosting household wealth. And there are signs wages are picking up after years of sluggish growth.
"Overall, consumers are feeling confident and are driving the strong performance we currently see in the job market," Ahu Yildirmaz, head of the ADP Research Institute, said.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said retail hiring for the winter holiday shopping season was especially strong, even after seasonal adjustments intended to offset those effects. That suggests retailers may be ramping up their temporary hiring efforts earlier to ensure they can find enough workers, he said.
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