Even amid declines in the financial markets, employers in the United States brought more jobs into the economy in December at the quickest cadence in months. At the same time, average hourly earnings notched their top full-year gains in years during the month, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The Labor Department indicated on Friday (Jan. 4) that over the course of December, non-farm payrolls in the United States rose by 312,000 per seasonally adjusted numbers. In addition, average hourly earnings jumped by 3.2 percent from the same month the year before and 0.4 percent from the prior month.
However, another household survey found that the unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent from 3.7 percent in November. Those results fell short of the expectations of economists polled by the paper who thought the jobless rate would decline to reach 3.6 percent. The economists, however, forecasted that wages would increase by 0.3 percent from the month before and that 176,000 jobs would be added to the economy in December.
A worker who paints houses in Utah, where the market for housing is on the rise, was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying, “I have to turn people away because I don’t have the capacity to take on their work.” The report also said that she was thinking about forming a limited liability company (LLC) in order to bring additional workers to her operation.
The news comes a few months after the unemployment rate in the United States fell to 3.8 percent amid payroll gains that were higher than expected. That decrease brings the unemployment rate to its lowest point in 18 years, it was reported in June, and the change indicated a tightening labor market.
In the month before, total payrolls had increased by 223,000, which was over an estimate of 188,000. At the same time, private payrolls increased by 218,000, beating the estimate of 183,000. RBC Capital Markets Chief U.S. Economist Tom Porcelli told Reuters at the time, “It’s a good report all around; it literally checks off all the right boxes.”