The U.S. economy added 156,000 non-farm payroll jobs in December, missing consensus estimates of 175,000 from economists at briefing.com, while the unemployment rate held steady at 4.7 percent, according to latest data this morning from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The strongest job gains came in the healthcare sector which added 43,000 with the majority of those job gains coming in ambulatory health care services which increased by 30,000.
Over the year, average hourly earnings for employees on non-farm payrolls increased 2.9 percent and in December earnings increased by 10 percent to $26.00.
The labor force participation rate in December was 62.7 percent, barely changed from November, and unchanged over the year.
The average workweek for non-farm payroll employees was unchanged at 34.3 hours in December.
The job reports for October and November were revised 19,000 higher combined.
October’s job report was revised lower from 142,000 to 135,000 but November’s job report was revised higher to 204,000 from 178,000.
During the past 3 months, job gains on n0n-farm payrolls have averaged 165,000 per month.
On Wednesday private sector payroll processor ADP reported that 153,000 private sector jobs were added in December, missing the 170,000 consensus estimate from briefing.com.
“Job growth remains strong but is slowing. The gap between employment growth in the service economy and losses on the goods side persists. Smaller companies are struggling to maintain payrolls while large companies are expanding at a healthy pace” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, in a released statement.
Russian Government Officials Cheer Trump Presidential Win
The Washington Post reported yesterday that senior officials in the Russian government celebrated Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton as a geopolitical win for the Kremlin, citing American officials who said that U.S. intelligence agencies intercepted communications after the U.S. presidential election and discovered Russian officials congratulating themselves over the final results.
The news about Russian officials cheering a Trump win bolsters the case among the U.S intelligence community that the Russian government directed the cyber attacks during the election to help boost Trump’s political chances to win the U.S. presidency.
Russia’s economy is heavily dependent on its oil and gas exports and has taken a hit from international sanctions tied to its aggression in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.
Russian hopes for ending sanctions improves with a Trump presidency.
Yesterday, heads of U.S. intelligence agencies briefed Congress about Russian hacking during U.S. election.
Today President-elect Trump will be meeting with heads from U.S. intelligence agencies over the topic of Russian meddling in the U.S. election through the cyber attacks.
Trump has been skeptical of the findings thus far from the U.S. intelligence community and continues to question their conclusions.