Friday, January 9, 2015

U.S. Jobs Up and Unemployment Rate Down, Wages Don't Budge

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 252,000 in December. The unemployment rate dipped from 5.8% to 5.6%. Over the year, job growth averaged 246,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 194,000 in 2013. 

While the U.S. gained jobs and the unemployment rate declined, wages were a different story. According to State Employment Economist Nick Beleiciks, “The national economy is seeing the fastest sustained job growth since 2006 and the unemployment rate has fallen to where it was in 2008. Real wage growth is a holdout in the labor market’s recovery, however, with average wage increases just equaling inflation over the last year.”

Wages in the U.S. fell in December by about about 0.2%, or five cents. In November, wages grew by about 0.2%.

Other highlights from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' December jobs report:
  • Unemployed persons decreased by 383,000 to 8.7 million in December.
  • Significant December employment gains occurred in professional and business services (+52,000), construction (+48,000), and education and health services (+48,000).
  • The U.S. unemployment rate was down 1.1 percentage points over the year.

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