Jan 10, 2020

U.S. economy adds 145,000 jobs in final report of 2019

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Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 145,000 jobs in December, the government said on Friday, below economists’ expectations of 160,000. The unemployment rate held at 3.5% — a 50-year low — while wages grew 2.9% from a year earlier, the smallest gain since July 2018.

Why it matters: The U.S. job market held up in the final month of 2019, but heads into the election year with a slowing pace of job creation and wage growth.

Details: Job gains were revised lower by a combined 14,000 in October and November.

  • The manufacturing sector, which President Trump vowed to revive, shed 12,000 jobs last month. In total, the industry gained 46,000 jobs in 2019 — far fewer than the 264,000 in 2018.

The big picture: The U.S. economy has added jobs for 10 years, the longest stretch of hiring "in 80 years of data," according to the Wall Street Journal. 2019 saw the slowest pace of job additions since 2011, per Yahoo Finance, thanks to effects from the trade war and difficulty finding workers.

What to watch: This report likely won't change anything for the Federal Reserve, which has signaled its intention to keep interest rates steady for the foreseeable future.

  • The job market will gain more attention as the election nears and the health of the economy under Trump is debated among candidates.

Go deeper: The end of Trump's manufacturing renaissance

Go deeper

Unemployment fell to 50-year low in 2019 but wages stagnated

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.

U.S. economy adds 225,000 jobs in January

Photo: Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The U.S. economy added 225,000 jobs in January, the government said on Friday, far above economists’ expectations of 161,000. The unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 3.6% — just above last month's 50-year low of 3.5%

The big picture: The result showcased the continued resiliency of the labor market, and the strong numbers are sure to be seized on by President Trump as he plots his course to re-election following his acquittal in the Senate's impeachment trial.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 7, 2020 - Economy & Business

U.S. jobs growth may be going to another level

Photo: Jim Young/AFP via Getty Images

The job market looks to be picking up steam and shaking off any hints of the slowdown economists predicted would happen as employers got further away from the boost of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

What happened: ADP's private payrolls report showed the U.S. added 291,000 jobs in January, beating expectations by a wide margin for the second straight month. It was the report's best monthly gain since May 2015.