Growth in professional services, retail and manufacturing drove the biggest monthly jobs gain in about three years.
Plus, the October jobs numbers were revised upward to 243,000 from a previously reported 214,000 and September's numbers now stand at 271,000 jobs, compared to 256,000.
"We're having a strong recovery in the labor market throughout this year," said Ben Garber, an economist with Moody's Analytics in an interview with TheStreet. "Though we would like to see wage growth stronger than where it is."
Average hourly earnings rose only 0.4% in November and 2.1% year-over-year.
"I think at this point we'd expect to see wages growing at around 4% per year, so that speaks to the fact that there is still slack in the labor market and the economy isn't operating on all cylinders," he said.
Don't expect to see wages move much higher than the 2% level they have hovered over for years. There are still too many part-time workers (6.9 million), who are unable to find full-time work.
Though Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Sterne Agee, was optimistic in a note Friday morning. "While a minimal increase in the annual rate, it is a welcome step in the right direction as wages have remained stubbornly low since the end of the recession."
Still, investors weren't particularly cheerful about non-farm payrolls topping expectations. They are worried a strengthening labor market could prompt the Federal Reserve to raise short-term interest rates, which have remained near zero for six years, sooner than expected.
While the consensus on a rate hike remains in mid-2015, the central bank has stuck to its nebulous statement, saying rates will remain low for a "considerable time" after the October end of quantitative easing.
"The Federal Reserve is itching to get away from their 0% interest rate target and since there has been such exceptional job growth, they do want to stay ahead of where inflation may be headed," Garber added. "So this could bring a raise in the federal funds rate sooner than we expect."
--Written by Scott Gamm in New York.