U.S. employment rose, as expected, by 252K additional jobs, according to recent report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Market expectations and the ADP report were close to this figure – 241K jobs during December. According to the recent U.S. employment report, the main sectors that grew in professional and business services, construction, food services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing. The rate of unemployment slipped to 5.6%.
The chart below shows the revised figures of the added number of non-farm employees in the labor market in past years (up to December 2014). The non-farm payroll in November and October were revised up by a total of 50K than previously reported. This revision comes after the November report initially showed a gain of 321K jobs.
In December, the rate of U.S. unemployment slightly declined by 0.2 percentage points to 5.6%. The current unemployment rate is 1.1 percent points lower than its rate in December 2013.
Moreover, the number of unemployed persons (8.668 million) dropped by 383K in December compared to the previous month. A closer look reveals that the civilian labor force grew by 183K. So despite the drop in number of unemployed and the rise in the number of people participating in the labor force, the participation rate slightly declined to 62.7%.
Finally, wages didn’t grow – the hourly earnings slid down by 5 cents to $24.57 per hour, which is 1.7% higher than the same month last year. The little annual growth in wages doesn’t vote well for the progress of the U.S. labor market.
Following this news, the U.S dollar depreciated against the Aussie dollar and Yen, but slightly rose against the Euro; crude oil price dropped again; the U.S stock market indexes also fell; gold and silver prices bounced back. Since the labor report wasn’t much higher than market estimates, the market didn’t have much of reaction to this news as gold and silver slightly rose while the USD slid down.
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