U.S. job growth climbed to 252,000 in December, topping estimates for 240,000. Leah Duncan reports
Another strong jobs report in December. U.S job growth climbed to 252,000, topping estimates for 240,000. That marked the 11th straight month of payroll increases above the 200,000 level. November's record number was also revised higher. Broad gains were seen acoss all sectors, with construction employment climbing by almost 50,000 As for the unemployment rate, that fell to a 6 and a half year low of 5.6 percent, partly a reflection of people leaving the labor force. But there was one area that didn't impress - average hourly earnings- that dropped five cents, after jumping six cents in November. SOUNDBTIE: ERIC STEIN, FIXED INCOME PORTFOLIO MANAGER, EATON VANCE (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "Look, it is only one report, there's noise in the data. It is somewhat strange given the strength that we've seen in the labor market for wages to go down. I think if you look at market reaction, that markets aren't reading it as wages are going down, but they are reading it as wages are disappointing that wages are not flat or not up as much as we thought. But, certainly, on a month to month basis anything can happen." The solid gains point to a strengthening economy, keeping the Federal Reserve on course to raise interest rates later this year.