U.S. Outlook: U.S. jobs engine remains intact

Scott Anderson
Posted by Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

While the headline net jobs gain from the December payroll report (156K) was somewhat below consensus expectations for 175K net new jobs, the details of the report reveal a solid U.S. labor market with plenty of fuel left in the tank.

Graph showing year-over-year trend in hourly wages, with recent upturn.Hourly earnings growth last month pushed the year-on-year gain in average hourly earnings to a respectable 2.9%, the fastest pace of earnings growth since 2009.

For more, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on Jan. 6.

Key observations:
  • Job growth for November was revised up 204K from an originally reported 178K.
  • The payroll report for December revealed some encouraging job growth in manufacturing (17K).
  • A strong U.S. dollar and potential trade disputes could be a major headwind against full-blown recovery in U.S. manufacturing activity and jobs in 2017.
  • If job growth remains near current levels, the U.S. unemployment rate — which ticked up to 4.7% in December — has further room to decline in the months ahead.

Click here to read my full report.

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