On the heels of a surprisingly strong year for job growth, such gains are unlikely to repeat in the next 12 months with economic headwinds intensifying for the country and rest of the world.
The final report for 2018, Bloomberg reports, is forecast to show employers added 180,000 jobs in December to cap a 2.45 million annual increase, the most since 2015. Still, the monthly estimate is the lowest median projection since last January.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect that to slow in 2019 to an average monthly pace of 156,000, for a 1.87 million total followed by 1.44 million in 2020, when President Donald Trump is up for re-election.
Other key labor measures aren’t expected to improve far beyond current levels by year end. Economists project the jobless rate held in December at 3.7%, the lowest since 1969, and will edge down to 3.5% at the end of 2019. Wage gains in December are estimated to ease to 3% year-on-year from a post-recession high of 3.1%, before a modest re-acceleration during the year. Read the full story.