US Economy Adds 312000 Jobs in December

The gains sent US stocks soaring Dow Jones Industrial Average ended Friday almost 3.3% higher S&P 500 rose 3.4% and Nasdaq jumped more than 4.2

The gains sent US stocks soaring Dow Jones Industrial Average ended Friday almost 3.3% higher S&P 500 rose 3.4% and Nasdaq jumped more than 4.2

This week, Apple cut its revenue estimates by billions of dollars, primarily because of weaker-than-expected iPhone sales in China due to that country's economic slowdown. The average work week rose 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours. The labor force participation rate rose to 63.1%. "That's a good thing".

The year 2018 was a good one for job creation.

USA employers went on a hiring spree in December, adding a surprising 312,000 jobs and providing a dose of reassurance about the economy after a turbulent few months on Wall Street. As a result, these figures are the lowest since 1969, giving more and more people confidence they can find a job.

At this stage of the nine-year recovery, maintaining the streak that took off in 2014 is projected to become increasingly hard.

Those uncertainties are already playing out in the volatile stock market, but so far America's labor market has remained robust. Hicks says part of the job gains were especially strong in seasonal sectors such as retail, however manufacturing also added 32,000 jobs.

"While an encouraging indicator of our resilient economy, the final jobs report of 2018 comes as the economy shows unsure signs of its direction", House Majority Leader Steny H Hoyer said, adding that the Trump administration's economic policies are "taking a toll on small businesses, farmers, and working families". November saw its disappointing 155,000 original report revised up to 176,000, while October's count went from 237,000 to 274,000, for a net gain of 58,000 from the previous tallies. The jobless rate dropped to 3.7 percent in September - the lowest since 1969.

Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey report for December speaks of total jobs north of the border creeping forward by only +9,000.

But the expected continuation of steady job growth suggests that such risks might be - for the moment, anyway - overblown. Crude prices have fallen for the past three months. "One is the stock market, which is going through something, and the other is the labor market, which has been chugging along". Average hourly and average weekly earnings for all "hard hat" workers were both +3.9% year over year.

Construction added 38,000 jobs in December, with gains in heavy and civil engineering and nonresidential specialty trade construction. But inflation ticked up in 2018, offsetting some of that bump.

The December jobs gain pushed total USA employment above 150 million jobs for the first time. Restaurants and bars added 41,000 jobs. Education added 24,000 jobs. "That's a deal we'll take if more people are participating in the workforce".

"We realized it was a mindset change: you have to be recruiting, rather than hiring", Riley said. The enormous retail trade industry, in particular, has suffered.

Overall, however, 2018 was a year that shifted more power to workers, said Josh Wright, chief economist at iCIMS, a hiring software firm.

The markets have been a mess, but companies are still hiring - a lot.

Businesses are still searching for more workers.

Nonfarm payrolls surged by 312,000 jobs last month, the largest gain since February, as employment at construction and leisure and hospitality locations snapped back after being restrained by unseasonably cold temperatures in November. This is because there is a dwindling pool of unemployed people. "There's a lot to cheer for".

In 2018, employers added 2.6 million jobs, or an average of almost 217,000 a month, according to the Labor Department. But economists cautioned that growth is expected to slow in 2019 because of trade fears and the duration of the almost decade-long recovery.

"Friday's payrolls numbers suggest a healthier United States economy than some investors had anticipated", it said.

November's gain was 155,000 - a healthy gain, even though it was smaller than analysts predicted.

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