Tuesday, 12 January, 2016

USA added 292000 jobs in December; unemployment rate steady at 5 percent

US jobs report: economy adds 292000 positions in strong finish to 2015 December Payrolls Up 292000; Job Growth Far Exceeds Expectations
Dillon Hess | 08 January, 2016, 16:43

Most analysts expect solid USA consumer spending to offset weakness overseas.

In November, the BLS initially said the economy added 211,000 jobs - a "healthy pace", as NPR's Marilyn Geewax put it.

The strong figures underscore the resilience of the US economy at a time of global turmoil stemming from China's slowing economy and plummeting stock market. Stronger customer demand has given most businesses confidence to hire even though some sectors - notably manufacturing and oil and gas drilling - are struggling.

The dollar has climbed about 10 percent in value in the past year compared with overseas currencies.

The unemployment rate held at 5 percent. That trend contributed to a 5 percent increase in the nation's trade gap in the first 11 months past year.

Another blow to manufacturing has been oil prices, which fell to their lowest level in 12 years Thursday.

Manufacturers added just 17,000 jobs a year ago through November.

The reason for the weak wage data could be because job creation was greatest in professional and business services, which added 73,000, 34,000 of which were temporary positions likely added in conjunction with holiday hiring.

The number of new jobs was higher than many economists had anticipated: NPR's John Ydstie says experts had expected about 200,000 new jobs. Meantime, the unemployment rate stands at its lowest point in more than seven years. He expects them to save an additional $217 in 2016 given the continuing drop in oil prices.

For now, Americans are confident enough to buy more homes.

"Looking ahead, the positives clearly outweigh the negatives on the consumer front", he said.