U.S. employers dramatically stepped up hiring in December, adding 312,000 jobs.
The Labor Department announced this morning that the unemployment rate rose slightly to 3.9%, but that reflected a surge in jobseekers—a positive for growth.
Average hourly pay improved 3.2% from a year ago, up from average wage growth of 2.7% at the end of 2017.
Health care and education services added 82,000 jobs in December, the biggest jump since February 2012. Restaurants and drinking placed posted a net gain of 40,700 jobs. Builders added 38,000 construction jobs, while manufacturers increased their payrolls by 32,000 workers.
Businesses are still searching for more workers. The employment site Glassdoor found that job postings have risen 17% in the past year to 6.7 million.
The jolt in hiring offers a dose of reassurance after a tumultuous few months as the outlook from the financial markets has turned bleaker amidst slowing global growth, a partial government shutdown and a trade war.
Job growth at this pace is a sign that the economy will continue to expand for a 10th straight year. Read the full story.