Research - JANUARY 10, 2020

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U.S. adds 2.1m jobs in 2019, up 145,000 jobs in December

by Loretta Clodfelter

The U.S. economy added 145,000 jobs in December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5 percent. During the past 12 months, employment rose by 2.1 million jobs, and wage growth increased 2.9 percent — its lowest growth rate in 18 months.

“Overall, the number of jobs still being created with the unemployment rate at near-historic lows along with slower than expected wage growth undermines the conventional wisdom that the economy has reached or passed full employment,” writes economist Elise Gould on Twitter.

“Looking ahead, if the Federal Reserve stays the course and there are no unexpected policy decisions elsewhere, I expect the labor market to continue growing stronger in 2020,” adds Gould.

By employment category, notable gains in December occurred in retail trade (up 41,000 jobs) and healthcare (up 28,000 jobs), reports BLS. Looking at the full year, the healthcare industry added 399,000 jobs in 2

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