Saturday, 19 January, 2019

United States employers went on a surprising hiring spree in December

U.S. Sees Exceptional Job Growth In December US job creation vaults higher in 2018
Laurie Berry | 08 January, 2019, 10:13

FBN's Edward Lawrence breaks down the December jobs report.

Employers added a whopping 312,000 net new positions for the month, smashing economists' expectations, and wages rose steadily, gaining 3.2 per cent for the year. We expect average monthly employment growth to slow in 2019, but rising labor force participation for prime working-age persons will support further healthy job gains.

In December, private sector workers (excluding farmworkers) got an average 11-cent hourly raise, adding up to an average hourly pay of $27.48. Average hourly earnings rose 3.2% from a year earlier, more than projected and matching the fastest pace since 2009.

Following strong jobs data, major United States stock indexes opened higher with the Dow industrials recording more than 300 points, The wall Street Journal reported.

The unemployment rate increased to 3.9 percent from a near 49-year low of 3.7 percent in November as a strong labor market lured some jobless Americans from the sidelines. Economists estimate that it requires roughly 100,000 job gains each month to satisfy population growth and keep the unemployment rate at its current level. He added that the report "suggests the USA economy still has considerable forward momentum". More than 50,000 of those gains came from health care, including doctors' offices, hospitals, home health care services and medical clinics.

Manufacturing experienced a major rebound, producing 249,000 jobs in 2018 through November.

Speaking at an American Economic Association event with former Fed chiefs Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke on Friday, Powell sought to placate jittery financial markets.

"This is the 12th jobs report following the historic rewrite of our nation's tax code, and the trend remains the same: strong growth for America", the House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Kevin Brady said.

The average monthly increase in USA construction jobs in 2018 was +23,000, which was +12.0% higher than 2017's average monthly increase of +21,000.

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Data released this week showed a key manufacturing mark hitting a two-year low and mortgage volume at its lowest in 18 years.

380,000 furloughed government workers were not factored into the report, as the numbers were collected before the partial government shutdown began.

Wages grew 3.2 percent in the year since December 2017 after almost a decade of tepid growth, the Labor Department's latest numbers showed.

The monthly average increase in production-line work in 2018 was +24,000, which was more than one-third (+37.2%) higher than 2017's comparable figure of +17,000.

Paychecks grew as employers raised wages to attract new workers. Growth in federal, state and local government jobs, which had been picking up pace, tapered off.

Manufacturing also tuned in a solid 32,000 gain for the month, with the bulk of the growth coming from the 19,000 positions added in the key durable goods sector.

And businesses are still searching for more workers. Employment in the leisure and hospitality sector increased by 55,000 jobs.

The economy needs to add 80,000 jobs a month just to maintain current staffing levels, said Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM, an global consulting firm.

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