- U.S. Economy Creates 148,000 Jobs in December
The number of jobs created in the world’s largest economy slowed more than forecast in December, despite wage growth picking up slightly.
The economy added 148,000 jobs, fewer than the 252,000 (initially reported as 228,000) jobs created in November and 261,000 in October, according to the Labor Department report published on Friday.
Unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1 percent for the third consecutive month, but wage growth inched slightly higher to 2.5 percent, up from the revised 2.4 percent recorded in November.
Economists had expected 190,000 jobs in the last month of 2017, however, Labor Department attributed the drop in job creation to low retail positions.
The breakdown of the report showed 30,000 jobs were created in the construction sector and 25,000 from the manufacturing sector, while retail sector lost 20,300 jobs during the holiday shopping season, bringing total gain in the services sector to 91,000, down from 176,000 in November.
The total jobs created in 2017 now stood at 2.06 million, while this is below 2016 number, it is better than analysts’ projection for the current administration.
On a monthly basis, average hourly earnings rose 0.3 percent from November following a downwardly revised 0.1 percent. The participation rate was unchanged at 62.7 percent, staying around the lowest level since the 1970s.
Despite weak job numbers, experts believe job gains above 100,000 a month are still enough to pressure unemployment rate lower in a tight labor market. Especially with private businesses adding 250,000 jobs in the same month.
The U.S. dollar gained against the Euro amid doubt the Federal Reserve might hold off on the rate hike. The U.S. dollar gained 0.34 percent to $1.2027 against the Euro.