The Washington Post reports:
The U.S. economy added 156,000 new jobs in December, according to government data issued Friday. The final issued by the Labor Department during President Obama’s administration showed the unemployment rate at 4.7 percent, slightly up from 4.6 percent the previous month. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected American companies to add 180,000 jobs in the month.
December marks the 75th straight month of job growth – the most extended streak the country has seen since 1939. The number of new jobs added each month has gradually slowed as the economy recovers from the depths of the recession, from average monthly gains of 251,000 in 2014 to 229,000 in 2015 and 180,000 in the first 11 months of 2016. However, that’s still far above the level of new jobs needed to keep up with population growth, economists say.
From the New York Times:
For all his criticism of Mr. Obama’s economic stewardship during the campaign, Mr. Trump inherits an economy that is fundamentally solid. Consumer sentiment, corporate profits and the stock market are all at or near multiyear highs.
To be sure, the economic worries that enabled Mr. Trump to capture the Rust Belt and in turn the White House persist: The future for Americans without a college degree or specialized skills is dim; millions of former workers are still on the sideline; and factory jobs are disappearing.
Although it is not reflected in the December figures, many low-wage workers are receiving a raise this year, as 19 states increased the local minimum wage. Some of the increases were substantial, with Arizona, Maine and Washington each raising the floor by $1.50 or more per hour.
Even in California, where the wage gain is not as steep, rising 50 cents an hour, one in 10 workers has received a raise. And minimum-wage gains can have a spillover effect, pushing up pay for workers just above the bottom salary tier.
As on many issues, Mr. Trump has sent conflicting signals on this subject, suggesting at times during the campaign that state increases were justified, but warning in primary debates that wages were “too high.”
Obama's last jobs report card: 11mm jobs created; more than 15mm since bottom of Great Recession. Unemp rate still abt lowest since Aug 07
— Steven Rattner (@SteveRattner) January 6, 2017