Last month’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics signaled the coming of the first interest rate hike in 9 years from the Federal Reserve. While the December jobs report is decidedly less noteworthy in that regard, it stills shows that employers ended the last quarter of 2015 on a very high note. Revisions show that that employment gains in November and October were far stronger than originally reported. 252,000 jobs were created in November as opposed to the 211,000 that were originally reported, and October’s total was adjusted to 307,000 from 298,000.
While the overall unemployment rate remained at 5.0% for the third month in a row in December, 292,000 jobs were added, making the December report one of the best of the past year.
What the Fed is Looking At
With the addition of 292,000 jobs in December, as well as positive revisions to the numbers from October and November, Beth Ann Bovino of Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services speculates that additional interest rate hikes could be coming in 2016. Bovino says that the December report will, “bolster [the Fed’s] case for four rate hikes this year… better employment growth means the Fed will raise rates faster.”
The average hourly earnings for private-sector workers in December was $25.24, a one-cent decline from November. However, wages are up 2.5% from December 2014, which matched the best year over year growth of 2015.
IT Industry Continues to Excel
December was yet another great month in 2015 for the Professional and Business Services sector, which led hiring by adding 73,000 jobs. Within this sector, the Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services had yet another strong showing. The unemployment rate, at 2.5%, was down an impressive 0.9% from the month of November and significantly lower than overall market rate of 5.0%.
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services accounted for 11,100 of the Professional and Business Services’ 73,000 jobs. 3,800 positions were added in Computer systems design and related services and Management and technical consulting services showed gains of 4,200.
Average hourly earnings for IT workers increased once again last month, however, so did their average hours worked. The average wages are $39.37, up $0.54 from November, and the average weekly hours are now 37.9, up 1.1 hours from last month.
December Jobs Report Fast Facts
Hire Top Tech Talent in 2016
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