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Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Friday's jobs report missed expectations, but still delivered solid numbers, showing the U.S. economy added well over 100,000 jobs and the unemployment rate remained near a 50-year low.

The big picture: BLS reported that the number of people who were employed part time but would rather be full-time employees declined by 507,000 over the year.

  • The number of people who wanted to find a job and had looked but couldn't and had given up, fell by 310,000 in 2019.
  • The number of discouraged workers fell by 98,000.
  • The U6 unemployment rate, which includes these categories of workers, fell to 6.7% in December, a new cycle low and the lowest in at least a quarter century.
  • Wages for production and nonsupervisory workers rose 3% in December

The other side: The wage increases for production and nonsupervisory workers had hit a decade high of 3.6% in October, showing a glaring deceleration to December.

  • Overall, wages grew 2.9%, which was the lowest level in a year and a half and well below the 2018 average of 3.3%.
  • “It’s easier to get a job than a raise in this economy,” Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, told the New York Times.

Between the lines: The average work week fell to 34.3 hours per week — indicating a lack of demand for labor at what should be a high-demand time of year.

  • DRW Trading rate strategist Lou Brien also points out that the last time the unemployment rate was this low, in 1969, "the annual wage growth for the production and non-supervisory workers was above six percent, more than double the current level."
  • "To say the least, the current level of wages does not suggest stiff competition for workers."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Oct 14, 2020 - Technology

More tech companies plan to let workers stay remote post-pandemic

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A growing number of tech companies say workers need not ever come back to the office if they don't want to. The move comes as pandemic-related closures have already kept many tech workers out of the office for months.

Why it matters: Technology's spread into every corner of the broader economy keeps boosting demand for workers with tech skills. That pushes employers to accommodate tech talent wherever they find it.

Updated 52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate will now work through votes on a series of amendments that are expected to last overnight into early Saturday morning.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

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