The US labor market is doing insanely well in terms of adding nonfarm-related payroll.
In December, the US economy added 292,000 jobs while the unemployment rate stayed steady at 5%.
The economy added 2.7 million jobs which was down from the 3.1 million jobs added in 2014.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected 211,000 jobs to be added in December.
While the number of jobs continued to impress, wages were flat in December compared to the prior month and rose 2.5% against the prior year. Both numbers missed expectations.
As expected, manufacturing jobs continued to decline, growing by only 8,000 new positions in December. Expectations were for 2,000 manufacturing jobs to be eliminated.
Jobs in the mining sector have continued their decline and are now off 15% from a year ago.
“The big story is that despite strong job creation, the unemployment rate remains flat for the third consecutive month. This implies stronger potential growth,” Neil Dutta at Renaissance Macro said in a note following the reports release.
Bloomberg says Wall Street was looking for the following results:
- Nonfarm payrolls: +200,000
- Unemployment rate: 5%
- Average hourly earnings, month-on-month: +0.2%
- Average hourly earnings, year-on-year: 2.7%
- Average weekly hours worked: 34.5
Dow futures briefly traded more than 220 points higher after the December employment report.
Expectations for Federal Reserve rate hikes in 2016 rose following the positive job growth.
Two more employment reports and other data are due before the central bank will consider another rate hike in March.