The private sector in the United States added 266,000 jobs and lowered the unemployment rate to 3.5%, equaling a historic low in the last half-century.

“The unemployment rate of 3.5% matched the September 2019 rate, a level that has not been achieved since 1969,” Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia said in a statement.

Thus, November 2019 marks the 21st consecutive month in which the unemployment rate has been equal to or less than 4%.

Also, wages have grown 3.0% or more for 16 consecutive months, said the report published on Friday, Dec. 6.

“It is encouraging to see sectors like retail and leisure and hospitality leading wage growth,” Scalia said in this regard.

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the third quarter of 2019.

For the last three months of the year, the annual rate is expected to slow and grow at a rate of about 1.5 and 2 percent, sluggish but not recessionary, according to an Associated Press report.

“Today’s report shows the economy continues to flourish. But we must continue to seek more expansion and opportunities for all Americans,” Scalia said.

The remarkable increase in jobs in November refutes the view of some economists who argued that many employers were delaying hiring until the U.S.-China trade war was ended.

Consumption was the main factor supporting the economy as exports declined and companies spent less in the face of uncertainty over the trade dispute between the two countries.

“Steady job growth has helped reassure consumers that the economy is expanding and that their jobs and incomes remain secure,” economics journalist Christopher Rugaber said in his AP report.

“Today’s jobs report, more than any other report in recent months, squashed any lingering concerns about an imminent recession in the U.S. economy,” said Gad Levanon, an economist at the Conference Board, a business research group cited by The Associated Press.

Since President Trump took office in January 2017, 6.6 million jobs have been created in the United States.