Can Job Growth Last?

FiveThirtyEight: “The U.S. job market ended 2015 on an unexpectedly high note. Now the question is whether it can sustain that momentum in a new year that is already off to a rocky start … Here are a few more observations from Friday’s report.”

“Watch the revisions: The monthly job figures are always volatile and subject to revision, but that’s especially true in December, when holiday-season hiring and other factors can make it tricky to adjust the numbers for seasonal patterns.”

“A slowing trend in job growth: Monthly job growth accelerated in December, but the more stable year-over-year trend now shows a clear sign of a slowdown. Employers are now adding jobs at a pace of about 2.7 million per year, down from more than 3 million at the start of the year.”

“Stronger wage growth: Average hourly earnings were up 62 cents in December from a year earlier, a 2.5 percent increase and the strongest gain of the recovery so far.”

“Better luck for the unemployed: Some 26 percent of unemployed workers found jobs in December, up from a low of 16 percent in 2010 and the highest mark of the recovery … Perhaps more importantly, fewer unemployed workers are giving up their search for work and leaving the labor force.”

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