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Obama calls tax reform key to continued economic progress

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Friday cited bipartisan cooperation on tax reform as one of several factors important to faster job growth and continued economic progress into 2015.

He said the latest U.S. jobs report showed wages are rising, calling it “a very welcome sign for millions of Americans.”

“We’ve got an opportunity to keep up this progress if Congress is willing to keep our government open, avoid self-inflicted wounds, and work together to invest in the things that support faster job growth in high-paying jobs,” Obama said.

He urged support for legislation to support exports, infrastructure improvements, immigration reform and “streamlining our tax code.”

U.S. employers added the largest number of workers in nearly three years in November and wages increased. Nonfarm payrolls surged by 321,000 last month, the most since January 2012, the Labor Department said on Friday. The unemployment rate held steady at a six-year low of 5.8 percent.

Data for September and October were revised to show 44,000 more jobs created than previously reported.

November marked the 10th straight month that job growth has exceeded 200,000, the longest stretch since 1994, and further confirmed the economy is weathering slowdowns in China and the euro zone, as well as a recession in Japan.

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