Consumer confidence rose in November to its highest mark in five months, a sign that people are hopeful about improving labor market conditions, according to a report released today by The Conference Board, an industry group.

The Conference Board said its index of consumer attitudes increased to 54.1 in November, the strongest since June, from a revised 49.9 in October. The median of forecasts from analysts polled by Reuters was for a reading of 52.6. Some economists had expected gains in the U.S. stock market in September and October to provide a boost to consumer confidence.

The group's Expectations Index also rose, reaching 74.2 in November, the best level since May, from 67.5 in October. Americans are more upbeat about future jobs prospects. Those expecting fewer jobs in the months ahead fell to 18.8% from 22.3%, while those expecting more jobs rose to 15.5% from 14.5%.

Consumers' labor market assessment slightly improved. The "jobs plentiful" index increased to 4.0 from 3.5. The "jobs hard to get" index was at 46.5% in November, compared with 46.3% in October.

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