A surprise leap in jobs, wages
December numbers top forecasts, unemployment steady, but job growth dipped for all of 2006.
By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer
January 5 2007: 11:09 AM EST
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Recent concerns about a weakening U.S. economy took a step back Friday morning as the closely watched December employment report showed much stronger job and wage growth than had been expected.
Employers added 167,000 jobs to U.S. payrolls in December, up from 154,000 in November, which was revised higher, the Labor Department reported. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast only a 100,000 rise in payrolls in December.
The unemployment rate stayed at 4.5 percent, in line with economists' forecasts.
The average hourly wage jumped 8 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $17.04, versus forecasts for a 0.3 percent increase. The November wage gain was also revised higher.
The wage gain left average hourly wages up 4.2 percent from a year earlier - well above the pace of inflation, which rose only 2 percent in the 12 months ended in November, according to a separate government reading.
The report follows other job readings, including a survey by payroll service ADP, which had suggested private sector employment would take a step back. The Federal Reserve also released minutes this week that showed concern by policy-makers at the central bank about an economic slowdown ahead.
Friday, January 05, 2007
Experts surprised, again!
They are always surprised. Wish I could have a job where I am always surprised, code for wrong, and still get paid.