Fort Worth, TX Jobs Report
The December jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the U.S. economy added 148,000 nonfarm jobs. The largest employment gains were seen in health care, construction and manufacturing. Losses were seen in the retail sector, following a surge of store closings.
Economists expected to see a growth of 190,000 jobs, so the December jobs report is somewhat disappointing. However, the unemployment rate continues to hold at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent. It is also the 87th straight month in which employers have hired more employees than they’ve let go – the longest stretch on record. So, despite the report, all signs still point to a strong economy.
Wall Street agrees. Following initial drop off in the stock index futures, the market quickly recovered. Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab told CNBC, “Yes, the numbers were a bit disappointing, but not so much that they change Fed policy, for example. December and January are also notorious months for being off the mark.”
However, slow wage growth continues to be a concern for employees. Average hourly earnings were little changed at 0.3 percent month-over-month. Although wages are up 2.5 percent since this time last year, this sluggish growth has surprised economists. With unemployment so low, employers should be competing for the best talent available, largely through better pay. Despite corporate tax rates getting slashed as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, however, it will likely take a while for employees to reap the benefits. “Don’t expect to see much impact on either jobs or wages anytime soon from the tax bill,” Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist said.
BLS.gov cannot vouch for the data or analyses derived from these data after the data have been retrieved from BLS.gov.