The December 2015 jobs report exceeded everyone's expectations, despite the slowdown in economic growth for the third and fourth quarter.
The Growth Was Substantial
According to CNBC, economists were projecting that approximately 200,000 new jobs would be added to the U.S. economy in December 2015. If that projection was met, then it would mean significant job growth in the fourth quarter for the past two consecutive years. That is a feat that the economy has not seen in a long time.
The reality is that there were 292,000 jobs added in December 2015, and this sent the stock markets in the United States soaring on the morning that the numbers were released. While the overall economy is growing at a slower rate than most would like to see, the jobs market is growing rapidly. People are re-entering the job market after years of giving up on employment, and that has helped the unemployment rate to stay steady at five percent.
Another growth number that economists are watching is the number of people who are employed "part-time for economic reasons." These are people who want to work full-time, but either cannot find full-time work or had their full-time positions cut down to part-time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this number was down by a total of 764,000 workers for the year of 2015, which is being looked at as good news.
The Areas That Showed Growth
According to Indeed.com, the transportation industry showed the most job growth in November 2015, and that trend is expected to continue with the release of the December 2015 numbers. The other sectors that saw tremendous growth in jobs in November that is expected to carry over to December include education, healthcare, and hospitality. In December 2015, every job sector is expected to show some sort of positive growth.
Wages Are Not Keeping Up
While analysts were shocked at the amount of job growth for December 2015, they were underwhelmed by wages. According to the Los Angeles Times, average monthly earnings for December 2015 dropped one cent to $25.24 per hour. The previous two months saw modest gains in wages, which makes the December number that much more disappointing.
The American economy continues to show slow improvement as it is still recovering from the Great Recession of 2008. But with two consecutive Decembers that show significant gains in jobs throughout the country, analysts hold out hope that the entire economy will eventually pick up pace and show a substantial level of growth for all four quarters of 2016.
George N Root III is a professional freelance writer who has expertise in topics such as Internet marketing, business, advertising, and personal finance.