The US labour market is on fire.
In December the US economy added 292,000 jobs, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 5%, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics.
The economy added 2.7 million jobs in 2015, down from the 3.1 million jobs added in 2014.
Near 10:00 a.m. ET stocks were higher following the report with the Dow up 100 points, the S&P 500 up 13 points, and the Nasdaq up 51.
Wage growth, however, was a disappointment.
Wages were flat in December compared with the prior month and rose 2.5% against the prior year. Both numbers missed expectations.
Manufacturing jobs, which have been in focus as activity in the sector continues to show declines in various survey data, grew by 8,000 in December. Expectations were for 2,000 manufacturing jobs to be eliminated. Jobs in the mining sector, however, continued to fall and were off 15% from a year ago, with this sector losing 8,000 jobs in December and 129,000 in 2015.
In a note out after the report, Neil Dutta at Renaissance Macro said: “The big story is that despite strong job creation, the unemployment rate remains flat for the third consecutive month. This implies stronger potential growth.”
Peter Tchir at Brean Capital called it a “stellar” report.
Via Bloomberg, here’s what Wall Street was looking for:
- Nonfarm payrolls: +200,000
- Unemployment rate: 5%
- Average hourly earnings, month-on-month: +0.2%
- Average hourly earnings, year-on-year: 2.7%
- Average weekly hours worked: 34.5