Jan 6, 2017

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.

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America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.