The US jobs market ended 2019 on a sour note, with December’s payroll and wage growth missing expectations, according to Labour Department figures released Friday.
Non-farm payrolls increased by just 145 000 while the unemployment rate held steady at 3,5 percent. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for job growth of 160 000.
The jobless rate met expectations for staying at a 50-year low.
In addition to the slow payroll growth, average hourly earnings rose by just 2,9 percent, below the 3,1 percent projection.
December marked the first time that wage gains were below 3 percent on a year-over-year basis since July 2018.
Revisions to the October and November counts brought those two months down by 14 000 as well.
The glittering 266 000 initial estimate for November came down 10 000 while October’s fell from 156 000 to 152 000.
Dow futures turned negative following the disappointing report.
On the upside, a separate, more encompassing measure that includes discouraged and underemployed workers fell to 6,7 percent, the lowest it’s ever been in records going back to 1994.
The decline came amid a drop of 140 000 in people working part-time for economic reasons.
The labour force participation rate held steady at 63,2 percent as the workforce rose by 209 000 to 164,6 million and those considered no longer in the job pool fell by 48 000 to 95,6 million. — CNBC.