Job growth rocketed ahead of expectations in December. Payrolls surged by 312,000 jobs, which was much higher than Dow Jones analysts’ predictions of 176,000 jobs.
Months of low unemployment in 2018 inspired thousands of people who had given up on looking for a job to re-enter the workforce. A total of 419,000 people entered the workforce in December, while total labor force participation rose to about 63%.
“The far bigger than expected 312,000 jump in non-farm payrolls in December would seem to make a mockery of market fears of an impending recession,” said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported more good news. Average hourly earnings in December rose 11 cents to $27.48. This is an increase of 3.2% versus a year ago.
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