US adds 156,000 jobs as unemployment rate ticks up


The Boston Globe | By Christopher Rugaber
January 6, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added 156,000 jobs in December, capping a year of slower but solid hiring. The report is the last major snapshot of the economy President-elect Donald Trump will inherit from President Barack Obama.

The Labor Department says the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.7 percent from a nine-year low of 4.6 percent.

Hourly pay jumped 2.9 percent from a year earlier, the biggest increase in more than seven years. That is a positive sign that the low unemployment rate is forcing some businesses to offer higher wages to attract and keep workers. Sluggish growth in Americans’ paychecks has been a longstanding weak spot in the seven-year economic recovery.

For all of 2016, job growth averaged 180,000 a month, down from 229,000 in 2015, but enough to lower unemployment over time.

Weak spots remain in the job market: A smaller share of Americans either have a job or are looking for one than before the recession. That is particularly true for men. Many men, especially those without a college education, have suffered as the job market has shifted away from blue collar work such as manufacturing and mining toward industries that either require higher skills, like information technology, or that pay less and are dominated by women, such as health care.

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