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Rise in hourly earnings grabs attention in jobs report

The U.S. economy added 156,000 jobs in December while the unemployment rate edged up slightly to 4.7%.

Our quick take: While the headline numbers were slightly below expectations of 175,000 new jobs, the most important metric in the report is the rise in average hourly earnings. Hourly pay rose by 10 cents per hour, good enough to bring the increase in hourly earnings to 2.9% for the year, a significant increase over 2015's 2.3%.

Labor markers continue to tighten and higher wages will mean higher prices. The Federal Reserve will be looking closely at these numbers as it decides how quickly to raise interest rates in 2017.