The December Jobs Report Has Something For Everybody

The final jobs report of 2014 has something for everybody. 

On Friday, the December jobs report showed that payrolls grew by 252,000 as the unemployment rate fell to 5.6% to close 2014.

Both of these numbers were better than expected as the unemployment rate is at its lowest level since June 2008 and 2014 marked the best year for overall job gains since 1999.

Wage growth, however, disappointed in a big way.

Average hourly earnings fell 0.2% month-on-month in December, missing expectations while November’s 0.4% gains were also revised down to just 0.2%. On a year-on-year basis, wages grew just 1.7%, the lowest since October 2012. 

In an email following the report, Peter Tchir at Brean Capital said the mixed bag of good payroll gains and poor wage growth will likely send the market back to focusing on what its been fixated on over the last couple months, which is oil. Following the report, West Texas Intermediate crude prices were little changed near $US48.50 a barrel.

In a note to clients following the report, economists at BNP Paribas said, “While markets and the doves on the FOMC are more likely to focus on the disappointing wages data, the majority on the FOMC are likely to focus on the falling unemployment rate and the impressive pace of hiring. We continue to expect the first rate hike to come in June.”

And so like we said: something for everybody. 

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