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Saturday, 7 January 2017

US wages fastest growth since 2009

Strong labor force

The US economy added 156,000 jobs in December, while revisions added an extra 19,000 jobs to the previous two months, reported the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Nothing too dramatic from month to month, but cumulatively the gains have been impressive. 

That now makes it 75 consecutive months of gains, easily eclipsing the previous record of 48 months.

The US economy added 2.16 million jobs in 2016, adding more than two million positions for the sixth year on the bounce. 

And this takes the total jobs added under President Obama to 11.3 million.

Wages growth accelerates

Moving through all the usual quibbles about which sectors of the economy did (or didn't) add the jobs - largely health care and social assistance this time around - the unemployment rate ticked up a notch to 4.7 per cent, with the participation rate also a notch higher at 62.7 per cent.

More notably, there was a 10 cent increase in average hourly earnings, taking the annual earnings increase all the way up to 2.9 per cent.

That's the fastest wages growth since the recession ended in the first half of 2009, outweighing other lesser issues highlighted by the report.

People are still trying to talk it down, but real wages growth is now taking off.