The U.S. Department of Labor has released the final jobs report of 2019. December’s employment and wage numbers were met with some mixed reviews, but overall show positive growth within the market. With an additional 145,000 jobs added to the economy, this marks the 10th straight year of job gains. While this number missed initial estimates, economists still considered it solid growth.
According to CNBC, “‘ After a strong 256,000 gain in payrolls in November, boosted by the return of 40,000 GM workers, some slowdown in the pace of job gains in December was inevitable,’ Michael Pearce, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said in a note. Pearce characterized the job growth as ‘solid’ even though it missed estimates, and said ‘we expect solid gains in payrolls to extend through 2020.'”
But with that slight optimism heading into this new decade, come the negative: wages. While job gains continued to climb, December managed some of the lowest wage gains seen in 2019. Wage growth continues to move at a slow pace. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Wage growth ‘remains the one aspect of the job market that hasn’t fully recovered during the decade since the Great Recession,’ [says Andrew Chamberlain, economist at Glassdoor].” This data suggests that the American worker is finding employment but not necessarily high-paying employment.
To learn more about December’s report and the state of employment see the infographic below: