U.S. Added 211,000 Jobs In November, Labor Department Says

The U.S. economy added 211,000 jobs in November, the Labor Department says in its new report. The unemployment rate remained steady at 5 percent, according to the monthly data from the agency’s Bureau of Labor Statistics – the last such report before the Fed meets later this month.

That meeting of the Federal Reserve is widely expected to center on raising key interest rates, which have sat near zero for more than six years. The latest signal that the “normalization” process will begin came this week from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who said:

“I anticipate continued economic growth at a moderate pace that will be sufficient to generate additional increases in employment, further reductions in the remaining margins of labor market slack, and a rise in inflation to our 2 percent objective.”

Friday’s news follows last month’s strong report, when the Labor Department said 271,000 jobs were created in October – the most in all of 2015 — with unemployment falling slightly from 5.1 to 5 percent.

Today, the agency revised that expectations-beating figure even higher, saying that 298,000 jobs had been added in October. It also revised September’s employment figure, saying 145,000 jobs had been created, from an earlier report of 137,000 jobs.

Describing November’s gains, the Labor Department saw growth “in construction, professional and technical services, and health care. Mining and information lost jobs.”

Average hourly pay for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls “rose by 4 cents to $25.25, following a 9-cent gain in October,” the agency says, adding that average hourly earnings have risen by 2.3 percent over 2015. The BLS also says that the average hourly pay for production and nonsupervisory employees changed little, reporting a rate of $21.19.

The agency says, “The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 2.1 million in November and has shown little movement since June. In November, these individuals accounted for 25.7 percent of the unemployed.”

Giving more details about what sectors added jobs, Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner Erica L. Groshen says:

“Employment in professional and technical services rose by 28,000 in November. Within this industry, accounting and bookkeeping services added 11,000 jobs, and employment continued to trend up in computer systems design and related services (+5,000).

“Health care employment increased by 24,000 over the month, following a large gain in October (+51,000). Hospitals added 13,000 jobs in November. Over the past 12 months, health care employment has risen by 470,000.

“Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up over the month (+32,000). Employment in this industry has grown by 374,000 over the year.

“Retail trade employment continued on an upward trend in November (+31,000) and has risen by 284,000 over the year. November job gains occurred in general merchandise stores (+12,000) and motor vehicle and parts dealers (+9,000). Over the past 12 months, these two industries have added 85,000 jobs and 71,000 jobs, respectively.”

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Café That Was Hit By Paris Terrorism Attack Reopens

Customers turned out Friday at the Bonne Biere cafe, reportedly the first Paris cafe that was attacked to reopen.

Customers turned out Friday at the Bonne Biere cafe, reportedly the first Paris cafe that was attacked to reopen. CHARLES PLATIAU/Reuters /Landov hide caption

toggle caption CHARLES PLATIAU/Reuters /Landov

Three weeks after extremist gunmen shot at customers on its terrace, the Bonne Bière cafe reopened for business Friday, serving coffee and pastries to patrons who sat on the sidewalk behind memorials to the attack’s victims.

It’s the first of the targeted cafés to reopen, according to Le Parisien.

Signs of the attack include a banner over its awning that reads “Je Suis En Terrasse” — I’m on the terrace — a defiant message that spread in the days after the Nov. 13 attack. And instead of advertising the day’s specials, the cafe’s chalkboard contains a message of support for those who lost loved ones in the attack.

From Paris, NPR’s Eleanor Beardsley reports:

“Five people died after being raked by bullets as they sat on the terrace of Cafe la Bonne Biere on a mild November night. The Islamist gunmen fired their assault-style weapons from a passing car.

“The façade of La Bonne Bière has been hastily repaired, and city trash collectors have begun to clear away flowers from several of the cafes and restaurants attacked.

“With memories of the night still raw, French news reports show local residents have mixed feelings about the reopening. One woman said Paris has a wound that will never heal, but she said life must go on.”

Removing those flowers brought mixed feelings to the city’s street cleaners who took on the job.

“We cleared out six trucks’ worth of wilted flowers and several kilograms of candles,” a cleaner named Sebastien tells France 24. “We didn’t really want to get rid of things, but it feels a bit like a cemetery with all the flowers.”

The cafe’s managers say they want to help the neighborhood heal itself after the attack.

Describing the current atmosphere in Paris, France 24 says the nearby Bataclan music hall, where the deadliest attack took place, is still attracting hundreds of visitors each day, as people pay their respects and leave photos, flowers, and notes. The club’s owners haven’t yet reopened, but they’ve said they will.

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Heavy Rotation: 10 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Houston trio Khruangbin takes inspiration from ’60s Thai funk. KCRW DJ Anne Litt is in love with the band’s song “White Gloves.” Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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We asked 10 music curators from public-radio stations across North America to share the one song currently rocking their world. As usual, they delivered a delightful mix that’s sure to help you discover something new to you. In this edition, hear new music by Houston-based Thai-funk trio Khruangbin, Real Estate frontman Martin Courtney, beloved Mexican pop singer Carla Morrison and more.

Hear The Songs

Khruangbin, "White Gloves"

Khruangbin, “White Gloves” Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Khruangbin, ‘White Gloves’

  • From: Universe Smiles Upon You

There’s softness in the quietly intoxicating, trippy funk of Khruangbin’s “White Gloves” that has wrapped around me, and I have no intention of letting it go. Delicate psychedelics spin into velvety rock that’s rooted in inspiration from ’60s Thai funk and surf music. It might not be what you’d expect from a primarily instrumental Houston trio, two of whose members started out playing gospel music together, but it works. Even the name Khruangbin, which means “engine fly” in Thai, adds another color to the band’s story and sound. After discovering the group through its contribution to Bonobo’s Late Night Tales compilation, I’ve now got Khruangbin’s debut album, The Universe Smiles Upon You, in my personal heavy rotation.

Anne Litt, KCRW

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Carla Morrison.

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Carla Morrison, ‘Un Beso’

  • From: Amor Supremo

Carla Morrison is a big deal in her native Mexico, where she regularly sells out huge venues and plays to adoring crowds who know all of her lyrics. She’s also won Latin Grammys and charmed the Latin indie scene, but she keeps a much lower profile in the U.S., largely due to the language barrier. But if the lead track from Amor Supremo is any indication, the pop singer’s relative anonymity stateside might not last long. “Un Beso” is a sweeping, almost cinematic track with gorgeous synth lines and a hypnotic rhythm section whose sole purpose seems to be to heighten the effect of Morrison’s sultry vocals. You don’t have to speak Spanish to feel the sweltering passion behind her performance; nothing gets lost in translation.

Jerad Walker, opbmusic

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Josh Ritter.

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Josh Ritter, ‘Homecoming’

  • From: Sermon On The Rocks

Josh Ritter‘s new album, Sermon On The Rocks, unfolds like a great book of short stories. The tales he tells, the metaphors he uses and the craft that goes into his songs are as literary as they are musical. I have to admit that I’ve never been much of a lyrics guy — give me a groove and I’m happy — but Ritter’s lyrics are undeniably compelling. I heard “Homecoming,” in which he sings of the days getting shorter and the weather changing, just as that was happening around our town. And even before reading that Ritter wrote this song with every town’s “Makeout Point” in mind, I’d already started to think about my own hometown and a girlfriend from back then. The song captures the wistful nature of those thoughts, but also the pleasure of the memory. Ritter tells a story through “Homecoming” that you can picture, because you’ve probably been there yourself.

Neal Losey, KCBX

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Autre Ne Veut.

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Autre Ne Veut, ‘On And On (Reprise)’

  • From: Age Of Transparency

Autre Ne Veut‘s 2013 album Anxiety opened with “Play By Play,” a deceptively structured song with no real verse or chorus, but that still prompts an urge to sing along. On Age Of Transparency, the singer born Arthur Ashin kicks off the proceedings with a similar trick: a track of increasing intensity that’s driven by melody but ornately decorated with frenetic beats, acoustic piano, upright bass and speed-shifted electronic tape samples. It’s as if Ashin took a tortured, compact confession and ran it through fun-house mirrors to mock his own inner conflict. In the past month, it hasn’t once failed to put a smile on my face.

Gabe Meline, KQED

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Illa J.

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Illa J feat. Allie, ‘Sunflower’

  • From: Illa J

Illa J, the younger brother of the late hip-hop legend J Dilla, recently dropped his new album, a self-titled effort that defies genre classification by mixing hip-hop vibes, acid jazz and progressive soul sensibilities. This is clearly evident in “Sunflower,” which features the sultry and ebullient guest vocals of Canadian singer Allie. The track drips with progressive-soul ambiance that recalls ’70s-era Roy Ayers, Leon Ware or Norman Connors, but with a modern twist that grooves heavily in both its melodic composition and vocal interplay. This is assured, soul-affirming work — a great combination that bodes well for the burgeoning artist and producer.

Chris Campbell, WDET’s The Progressive Underground

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Jon Stickley Trio.

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Jon Stickley Trio, ‘Point To Point’

  • From: Lost at Last

Asheville, N.C.’s Jon Stickley has been playing in bluegrass bands for years, and is known as a progressive and adventurous flatpicker, but his musical roots and influences range widely to include rap, grunge, punk and more. When he teamed up with fiddler Lyndsay Pruett and drummer Patrick Armitage — originally as a lighthearted side project — the end result is a wonderfully unique sound that defies easy categorization. “Point To Point,” from the Jon Stickley Trio’s new album Lost At Last, is an original composition that captures the group’s fiery virtuosity perfectly.

Linda Fahey, Folk Alley

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Martin Courtney.

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Martin Courtney, ‘Northern Highway’

  • From: Many Moons

You might know Martin Courtney as the frontman of Real Estate, a band that specializes in shimmering, sun-dappled sounds that soothe like ’70s FM radio or The Byrds in soft focus. So it’s not surprising that Courtney’s solo debut, Many Moons, has given us another collection of songs to help us float blissfully through a Sunday morning or provide the perfect soundtrack to a contemplative autumn drive. “Northern Highway,” in particular, seems custom-crafted for an escape to greener surroundings. This quintessential road song echoes the grand questions we might ponder as we speed toward our destination: “Do you feel just like a stranger? Do you feel just like a shell?” With the music’s gentle twists and turns, confronting those existential blues feels just a little less solitary.

Carmel Holt, WFUV

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Half Moon Run.

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Half Moon Run, ‘I Can’t Figure Out What’s Going On’

  • From: Sun Leads Me On

Half Moon Run originally hails from the small Vancouver Island ocean community of Comox, British Columbia, but it wasn’t until its members relocated to Montreal that they really made a name for themselves. In the spring of 2012, the band caught almost everyone by surprise with an excellent debut album that achieved gold status in Canada. Three and a half years later, Half Moon Run has returned, more mature and in control, for its second album, Sun Leads Me On. “I Can’t Figure Out What’s Going On” is a standout; I love a song with a slow build, and this one definitely qualifies. It’s like putting a kettle on the stove: The song is calm at first until it starts simmering, hits a rolling boil and finally blasts forward in a heated finish. If you like Spoon, The Band or Sufjan Stevens, chances are you’ll love Half Moon Run. Put the kettle on and enjoy.

Grant Lawrence, CBC Music

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Marcus Marr and Chet Faker.

Marcus Marr and Chet Faker. Willy Ward/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Chet Faker & Marcus Marr, ‘The Trouble With Us’

  • From: Work EP

British DJ Marcus Marr and Melbourne, Australia’s Chet Faker have been friends for a while, which means they’ve been collaborating for far longer than the four days they spent together in Marr’s studio to make their new Work EP. The funky “The Trouble With Us” takes advantage of Marr’s instrumental chops; even if he’s not actually popping lines on a bass guitar, he can make it sound as if he is. Faker (real name: Nick Murphy) brings the smoky voice and lyrical intimacy of his glorious 2014 debut, Built On Glass, but Marr raises the tempo and draws out Faker’s pop tendencies. It’s an irresistible pairing.

David Dye, World Cafe

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Chairlift.

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Chairlift, ‘Ch-Ching’

  • From: Moth

Amid whistles, snaps, horns and driving percussion, Caroline Polachek’s voice is the most essential and captivating instrument in Chairlift‘s new single “Ch-Ching.” Manipulating pace and pitch in a disorienting yet bewitching way, the Brooklyn duo has created a danceable track with artful depth and texture. It’s an exhilarating first glimpse of Chairlift’s upcoming Moth, due out Jan. 19. As enjoyable as the addictive tune is, the video — which captures the song’s seductive vibe through a choreographed dance performed by Polachek herself — is even better. Bonus points go to anyone cool enough to nail down the hand movements to go along with the words “27-9-9-23” — I’ll be practicing all winter.

Jessi Whitten, Colorado Public Radio’s OpenAir

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Pakistani Lawyer's Petition Demands Return Of Koh-I-Noor Diamond

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Back in colonial times, Britain forced India to hand over the 105 carat diamond. Now that India and its neighbor Pakistan are independent from Britain, the Pakistani wants it back.

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Deadly Cairo Fire-Bombing Attack Is Deemed Result Of A Fight

An Egyptian forensic expert checks the gate of the nightclub that was attacked in Cairo, Egypt, Friday. At least 16 people were killed in the attack.

An Egyptian forensic expert checks the gate of the nightclub that was attacked in Cairo, Egypt, Friday. At least 16 people were killed in the attack. Amr Nabil/AP hide caption

toggle caption Amr Nabil/AP

At least 16 people were killed and several others injured at a Cairo nightclub, after Molotov cocktails set fire to the club and restaurant early Friday morning. Police say the attack followed a dispute between club employees and some young men.

NPR’s Leila Fadel reports:

“A statement from Egypt’s Ministry of the Interior says following the argument, the young men threw Molotov cocktails into the club out of anger.

“A raging fire broke out and smoke billowed from the club before security forces put out the fire. Police are searching for the perpetrators.

“Authorities say this was not an act of terrorism. Essentially, it was a late night bar fight gone very very wrong.”

According to the Egyptian newspaper Youm7, masked men fire-bombed the club in the central Agouza district after they weren’t allowed to enter. The club normally stays open through the night, the newspaper says.

Video footage from the scene shows smoke and flames billowing out of the club’s door in the early morning daylight, as passers-by gather at the business’s basement entry door and attempt to use fire extinguishers against the blaze.

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Winston Churchill Was A Great Statesman But Apparently A Bad Customer

Archives of London tailor Henry Poole and Company reveal Churchill left behind an $18,000 bill. His last order: repairs to a yachting cap. Don’t think they can expect payment — that ship has sailed.

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Calif. Mosque Gets Negative Attention After Shooters Are ID'd As Muslims

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After the terrorist attacks in Paris and the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., there have been many ugly words about Muslims in America over the past several weeks.

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Women In The U.S. Military May Serve In Combat Posts, Pentagon Says

After years of debate, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on Thursday that all combat positions in the military will be open to qualified women. Steve Inskeep talks to Army veteran Emily Miller, who was an officer attached with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan.

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Remembering Some Of The San Bernardino Shooting Victims

Tin Nguyen (Ten new-IN) was 31 years old. She immigrated from Vietnam when she was a child and was preparing her engagement to her longtime boyfriend. Michael Wetzel was 37 and is survived by his six children. His pastor said Wetzel “was one of the most caring and generous guys.”

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For A Schoolboy With AIDS, A Principal Opened Doors — By Opening His Arms

Elementary school principal Paul Nilsen, with John Graziano's father, Tom, on a recent visit with StoryCorps.

Elementary school principal Paul Nilsen, with John Graziano’s father, Tom, on a recent visit with StoryCorps. StoryCorps hide caption

toggle caption StoryCorps

John Graziano, a second-grader in 1986, was diagnosed with HIV in a Chicago suburb called Wilmette. He had contracted the disease from his biological mother, but he had been adopted by the Graziano family.

“John was one of the first children in the state of Illinois to be diagnosed as HIV-positive,” his adoptive father, Tom, remembers. Tom Graziano recently spoke with John’s elementary school principal, Paul Nilsen, on a visit with StoryCorps.

“We went to our pediatrician, and the doctor said he did not want to be John’s doctor,” Tom Graziano continues. “It was an indication of what might be ahead of us, of how John would be treated and how we as a family would be treated.”

John Graziano was adopted in the early '80s. Long beset by illness as a child, in 1986 he was discovered to have contracted HIV from his biological mother.

John Graziano was adopted in the early ’80s. Long beset by illness as a child, in 1986 he was discovered to have contracted HIV from his biological mother. Courtesy of Tom Graziano hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Tom Graziano

Nilsen recalls that Tom came to speak to him shortly after Christmas vacation, to speak with him about John. And Nilsen says he was firm on the matter: “John stays in the school,” he recalls saying at the time.

“There was no question in my mind that that’s where he should be,” Nilsen says.

“I really didn’t know, Paul — I didn’t know how you would handle this,” Graziano says. “When you made that statement, that John belongs here, it was a big sigh of relief for me.”

Nilsen may have welcomed John — but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t cautious at first. For a while, Nilsen says he would spray alcohol on John’s desk to keep it clean. But eventually he arrived at a conclusion: “This is ridiculous. We’re gonna treat him no different than we’d treat any other child in the room.”

This sentiment was shared by John’s classmates, as well: Nilsen recalls that, if anybody asked the kids in the room who had AIDS, each of them would reply: “I have AIDS.”

“I remember one time, one of the parents came to me and said, ‘Just tell me who it is,’ ” Nilsen says. “And I said to him, ‘I cannot do that.’ He says, ‘Just tell me who it is. I won’t tell anybody.’ And I said, ‘No, you’re not gonna get it from me.’ “

That’s one of the reasons why, even decades later, Graziano still bears a great amount of gratitude toward Nilsen. “John loved school,” Graziano says, “and it made those last few years of John’s life as good as they could be.”

John Graziano died from complications related to AIDS on May 13, 1989. Just days later, his funeral was held on his birthday. The mourners attending, including his father and principal, sang “Happy Birthday to You” at the ceremony.

“In his final months, he was suffering, and that was painful for us,” Tom Graziano tells Nilsen. “But, if you had not acted compassionately, it would have been so much more difficult.”

“I believe that everybody has choices,” Nilsen says, “and there’s something that just leads people to what they need to do.”

Audio produced for Morning Edition by Liyna Anwar.

StoryCorps is a national nonprofit that gives people the chance to interview friends and loved ones about their lives. These conversations are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, allowing participants to leave a legacy for future generations. Learn more, including how to interview someone in your life, at StoryCorps.org.

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