Payroll Report Delivers Mixed News for the Economy

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First the good news. The U.S. added 252K jobs in December, the 11th straight month of plus 200K job growth - the longest streak in almost 20 years. Additionally, November’s stellar report was revised up to 353K and October was also revised up to 261K.As a result, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent, the lowest level since June 2008. In 2014 a total of 2.95 million jobs were created, the most since 1999. However, there was some bad news in today’s non-farm payroll report. The labor participation rate ticked down slightly and average hourly wages actually fell. The overall wage gain in the last year has only been 1.7 percent and since 2010 has only averaged 2 percent. Without wage gains, inflation is likely to remain below the Fed’s target and may temper the Fed’s plans to raise interest rates mid-year.Please follow job creation on page 56 of the Global Perspectives book.

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