Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 252,000 in December, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.Job gains occurred in professional and business services, construction, food services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing.
Household Survey Data
The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 5.6 percent in December, and the number of unemployed persons declined by 383,000 to 8.7 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.1 percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively.
December Employment Gain Caps Best Year for U.S. Since 1999
Employment rose more than forecast in December and the jobless rate declined to 5.6 percent, wrapping up the best year for the labor market since 1999 and adding to evidence the U.S. is a standout in the global economy.
The addition of 252,000 jobs followed a 353,000 rise the prior month that was more than previously estimated, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The jobless rate dropped to the lowest level since June 2008. The report wasn’t all good news as earnings unexpectedly declined from a month earlier.
An additional 2.95 million Americans found work in 2014, the most in 15 years and a sign companies are optimistic U.S. demand will persist even as overseas markets struggle. The combination of job growth and cheaper gasoline will probably help stretch workers’ paychecks and sustain consumer spending.
“The labor market was on a tear going into 2015,” Jacob Oubina, a senior U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets LLC in New York, said before the report. “It bodes well for the consumer and for the economy. The U.S. is growing at a decent clip and is more than likely to accelerate this year.”
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at December Employment Gain Caps Best Year for U.S. Since 1999 – Bloomberg.