Speed Reads

Jobs Numbers

The U.S. added 252,000 jobs in December, while unemployment dropped to 5.6 percent

New numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning show that the American economy added 252,000 nonfarm private jobs in December 2014. The unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent, from 5.8 percent in November.

The December numbers beat the 230,000 new jobs economists were expecting, as well as average job growth over the past 11 months. The November numbers were also revised upwards this morning to 353,000, and October's to 261,000, meaning 50,000 more jobs were gained than initially reported between the two months.

The BLS report also showed that the number of unemployed Americans held stable at 2.8 million (31.9 percent of all the unemployed) and average hourly earnings fell by 5 cents to $24.57.

As the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute put it, the recovery for most Americans did not even begin until 2014, when the unemployment and the long-term unemployment rates both clocked in modest but sustained declines, and job growth strengthened along with the employment-to-population ratio.