Wages rebounded sharply, and more people entered the labor force. As Fred Katayama reports, the December jobs report suggests President-elect Trump is inheriting a strong economy.
Job growth in the U.S. slowed in December. The economy added 156,000 jobs last month. That was less than economists had expected. But the previous two months' gains were revised upward. The unemployment rate ticked up to 4.7 percent, but for a good reason: more people entered the labor force, and that's a sign of confidence in the labor market. What's more, average hourly wages rebounded sharply, up 2.9 percent - that's the largest increase since June 2009. Vining Sparks chief economist Craig Dismuke said, "Wage growth is firming up and if we get over 3.0 percent, the Fed would feel a lot more comfortable to raise rates further ... We might see a rate hike in June and then in December." The jobs report suggests President-elect Donald Trump is inheriting a strong economy. Job gains were broad based. Adding the most to payrolls: healthcare and social assistance and restaurants and bars. Employment in manufacturing - a sector of particular concern for Trump - rebounded after declining for four straight months. But payrolls shrank in mining ... and in construction, which has been hit by a skills shortage. Following the report, the dollar rose against the yen and euro. But stocks edged lower in early trading.