The United States added 145,000 jobs in December, according to a U.S. Labor Department report released on Friday.
The jobs total for December was a tick under what was expected, as economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for job growth of 160,000.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.5% and average hourly earnings rose by 0.1%, making the year-over-year gain 2.9%. December marked the first time that wage gains were below 3% on a year-over-year basis since July 2018.
There were revisions to the October and November job totals, which brought those down by a combined 14,000. The average monthly gains for the last three months of the year were 184,000, which is on par for the rest of the year.
Overall, 2019 continued a trend of steady economic expansion in the U.S., despite whispers of an impending recession. The economy added 2.1 million jobs, which was fewer than the 2.7 million created in 2018, but it still outpaced population growth.
“I think 2019 was a year of consolidation,” Gregory Daco, chief economist at Oxford Economic, told The New York Times. “We had relatively strong and steady job growth over the year despite a number of headwinds including a trade war with China, weaker global activity and heightened policy uncertainty.”
The DOL’s report showed much less growth than ADP’s job report, which came out on Wednesday. ADP showed that 202,000 jobs were added in December, thanks to robust hiring in construction, trade, transportation and utilities.
About the Author
Brett Christie is a staff writer at WorldatWork.