Monday, 25 March, 2019

December hiring surged: Employers added 312,000 jobs

Bank economists expect US employment data to slow down - Bloomberg US jobs growth jumps in December
Orlando Vargas | 07 January, 2019, 11:35

Jobless claims ended the year around the lowest levels since the late 1960s, when the US population was about 62% of its current size.

The US economy created many more jobs than expected in December, according to the latest government data. A reading above 50 in the ISM index indicates an expansion in manufacturing, which accounts for about 12 percent of the US economy. The unemployment rate held at 3.7% in November, matching a almost half-century low, and economists expect it declined further to 3.6% in December. That would amount to 1.87 million for 2019, less than the 2.27 million added in the first 11 months of 2018.

In more positive news for consumers, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose 11 cents to $27.48, a 3.2 percent increase on the year.

Job-gain estimates in Bloomberg survey range from 160,000 to 225,000.

The unemployment rate increased to 3.9 percent from near a 49-year low of 3.7 percent in November as a strong labor market pulled some 419,00 jobless Americans from the sidelines. "However, risks to the outlook have escalated lately and an expected moderation in economic growth will likely coincide with a less-robust pace of job creation as this year progresses". The franchiser is also launching an apprenticeship program to attract workers, in addition to providing higher pay and benefits.

The Labor Department will remain funded during the shutdown, so the preparation of Friday's and future reports was not affected. The Dow suffered its worst December decline since the middle of the Great Depression in 1931 as surveys of economists and business leaders suggested the United States could be in a recession by 2020.

The unemployment rate is seen holding steady at 3.7%, its lowest level since 1969 during the Vietnam draft.

Trump makes surprise press briefing appearance to push border wall
The partial USA government shutdown began when Congress and Mr Trump failed to reach an agreement over a budget bill in December. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump promised to erect a wall along the Mexico border and have Mexico pay for it.


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"The economy is just going to be spinning its wheels with subpar growth in 2019 if the purchasing managers report is to be believed", said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in NY.

Among the sectors and industries doing the most hiring last month were health care, food service, construction, manufacturing, and retail.

The Fed increased borrowing costs last month for the fourth time in 2018, but forecast fewer rate hikes this year and signaled its tightening cycle is nearing an end in the face of financial market volatility and slowing global growth.

In recent weeks, financial markets have plunged amid concerns that the USA could be in a recession by 2020.

Major stock market indexes, which have seen massive swings in recent weeks, rebounded Friday morning after the labor report was released. The dollar dropped against a basket of currencies, while U.S. Treasury yields fell.

Speaking at an American Economic Association event with former Fed chiefs Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke on Friday, Powell sought to placate jittery financial markets.

Businesses are still searching for more workers. It needs to create roughly 100,000 jobs per month to keep up with growth in the working-age population. Retailers hired 23,800 more workers. Builders added 38,000 construction jobs, while manufacturers increased their payrolls by 32,000 workers.

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