Hiring surges in December, US unemployment at 3.9 percent

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Economists have forecast that the Labor Department will report that employers added a solid 180,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate stayed at a five-decade low of 3.7 percent, according to the financial data firm FactSet. Even with fear of a global economic slump depressing stock markets, Friday, jobs report for December is expected to offer reassurance that the USA economy remains sturdy and on track to expand for a 10th straight year. Employers increased hours for workers, pushing the average workweek up to 34.5 hours from 34.4 hours in November. In the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have only increased 84 cents, or 3.2 percent, and that doesn't even take inflation into account. But the December jobs news helped prompt a rebound on Wall Street, with all three major indices rallying after Thursday's rout.

Unemployment is now at 3.9%, which is a slight uptick over the last update, but is also the result of more Americans getting into the labor force. "Eventually, job growth is going to start slowing down". He added that the report "suggests the United States economy still has considerable forward momentum".

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.

Manufacturing added 207,000 jobs in 2017.

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Ask if he was happy or concerned about the slowing in the world's second largest economy, Ross said, "Not happy nor guilty". U.S. officials are meeting their counterparts in Beijing this week for the first face-to-face talks since U.S.

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Kevin Hassett, one of Trump's economic advisers, predicted that if it continued, the current government shutdown would push those job numbers down to a lower level in January.

The U.S. central bank raised rates four times in 2018.

The robust labour market, especially strengthening wage growth, suggests the economy will continue to expand this year despite the ebb in consumer confidence, continued weakness in the housing market and cooling manufacturing activity.

The unemployment rate, which has remained at historic lows, inched up slightly last month - the greatest increases were seen among male workers. The comparable increases across the whole economy, both hourly and weekly, were +3.2%.

The monthly average increase in production-line work in 2018 was +24,000, which was more than one-third (+37.2%) higher than 2017's comparable figure of +17,000. That's a tiny bump, and reflects more of the slow wage growth that has plagued the economy in recent years. Anecdotal evidence has been growing of companies experiencing difficulties finding workers, and raising wages to retain and attract employees. In addition, data from both November and October were revised upward by a combined 95,000 jobs, bringing up the average job growth for the fourth quarter to 254,000 jobs per month. Manufacturing payrolls rose by 32,000 jobs in December. Workers who have struggled with disproportionately high joblessness found more opportunities. The professional and business services (583,000) and education and health services (517,000) industries produced over half-a-million jobs each. Restaurants and bars added 41,000 new jobs and 235,000 jobs for all of 2018.

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