Speed Reads

Jobs Numbers

The economy added fewer jobs than expected in December, but wages rose

U.S. non-farm employers added 156,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department said Friday in the last monthly employment report of the Obama administration. That number fell below expectations — economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast 180,000 new jobs — and the average growth for the previous 11 months, but rounded out the sixth straight year of employment gains of more than 2 million jobs. The unemployment rate edged up to 4.7 percent from 4.6 percent. Average hourly wages rose by 0.4 percent, slightly more than expected. That pushed year-to-year wage gains to 2.9 percent, the biggest jump since the end of the recession in 2009.