US economy added 312,000 jobs in December, blowing past expectations
U.S. employers added 312,000 jobs in December, blowing past Wall Street’s expectations for an increase of 177,000 jobs, even on the heels of a tumultuous month for the markets that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 post their worst performance since the Great Depression.
The unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent, while the labor force participation rate also rose slightly to 63.1 percent from 62.9 percent during the month. Average hourly earnings meanwhile rose by 11 cents to $27.48. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by a total of 84 cents, or about 3.2 percent.
Although experts categorized the gains as unsustainable, they also said it meant an economic recession may not occur as soon as once believed.
“The U.S. economy will eventually fall into recession, maybe as soon as next year, but the December employment report indicates that this isn’t going to happen anytime soon,” said David Berson, the chief economist at Nationwide.
Jobs numbers come on the heels of a report Thursday from payroll processing firm ADP, which revealed the private sector added 271,000 jobs in December, soaring past analysts’ expectations of 178,000 jobs.