The U.S. economy added 156,000 jobs in December and unemployment was little changed at 4.7%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This continues the recovery of the labor market at a tempered rate, which means the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee should continue to let the economy grow at this rate and not raise interest rates.
In response to the December jobs numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:
Payroll employment edges up 156,000 in December, unemployment stays near flat at 4.7% @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 6, 2017
Job growth in health care up 43,000 in December (average of 35k a month for the year) at risk from Republican plans to #MakeAmericaSickAgain— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 6, 2017
Nominal wage growth of 2.9% over the year is getting better, and strong, but not enough to justify the Fed making further rate hikes @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 6, 2017
Last month’s biggest job gains were in health care (43,000), food services and drinking places (30,000), social assistance (20,000), manufacturing (17,000), transportation and warehousing (15,000), professional and business (15,000), and financial activities (13,000). Employment in other major industries, including mining, construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, information and government, changed little in December.
Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates in December for adult men (4.4%), adult women (4.3%), teenagers (14.7%), whites (4.3%), blacks (7.8%), Asians (2.6%) and Hispanics (5.9%) showed little change in December.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed in December and accounted for 24.2% of the unemployed.