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HomeBreaking NewsUS hiring stays brisk as employers add 223,000 jobs

US hiring stays brisk as employers add 223,000 jobs

'Quick read' news summary

WASHINGTON — America’s employers added a solid 223,000 jobs in December, evidence that the economy remains healthy even as the Federal Reserve is rapidly raising interest rates to try to slow economic growth and the pace of hiring.

With companies continuing to add jobs across the economy, the unemployment rate fell from 3.6% to 3.5%, matching a 53-year low, the Labor Department said Friday.

All told, the December jobs report suggested that the labor market may be cooling in a way that could aid the Fed’s fight against high inflation. Last month’s gain was the smallest in two years, and it extended a hiring slowdown for most of 2022.

What’s more, average hourly pay growth eased in December to its slowest pace in 16 months. That slowdown could reduce pressure on employers to raise prices to offset their higher labor costs.

Average hourly wage growth was up 4.6% in December from 12 months earlier, compared with a 4.8% year-over-year increase in November and a recent peak of 5.6% in March.

“If these trends continue, we can feel more and more confident that the strength of this labor market is sustainable,” said Nick Bunker, head of economic research at the online job site Indeed’s Hiring Lab. “The outlook for next year is uncertain, but many signs point toward a soft landing,” rather than a feared recession.

Traders on Wall Street appeared encouraged by the report’s suggestion of milder pay growth and sent stock market futures pointing to solid gains.

Last month’s job growth capped

WASHINGTON -- America’s employers added a solid 223,000 jobs in December, evidence that the economy remains healthy even as the Federal Reserve is rapidly raising interest rates to try to slow economic growth and the pace of hiring. All told, the December jobs report suggested that the labor market may be cooling in a way that could aid the Fed's fight against high inflation. What's more, average hourly pay growth eased in December to its slowest pace in 16 months.

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