The U.S. added +312,000 jobs in December, exceeding expectations of +184,000 – according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics non-farm payroll data released Friday. Job gains occurred in health care, food services and drinking places, construction, manufacturing, and retail trade. The unemployment rate, however, spiked a bit to 3.9% for the month, compared to November’s record low 3.7%.
Average hourly earnings rose by +0.4% over last month – edging past expectation of +0.3%. On a year-over-year basis, wages increased by +3.2%, which is higher than estimates of +3%.
The figures seems to suggest that the U.S. labor market continues to show strength amidst potential headwinds like trade uncertainties alongwith concerns related to monetary tightening and stock market correction/volatility.