Jobs grew by 228,000 in November, with strong hiring across the board in manufacturing, construction and professional jobs.
Employers were expected to have added about 200,000 jobs in November and wage growth was seen as strong, two trends reinforcing that the Federal Reserve will raise rates when it meets next week.
The employment report showed the unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent, and average hourly earnings rose 0.2 percent, slightly less than the 0.3 percent expected. Year-over-year, wages rose 2.5 percent pace, up from 2.4 percent in October. For more, read the latest on November job gains.
Economists expect to see some continued recovery in hiring after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit Texas and the Southeast in August and September.
"I think it's going to be a pretty firm report," said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont. "I have 210,000 for payrolls. I think it's that high because there's a little bit more of the post-storm recovery."