Job Growth Expectations Exceeded in December

Group of multiracial Asian business person coffee break social gathering after seminar business conference

( – The US economy has taken a bit of a hard hit since getting through the pandemic, but numbers are looking better than expected when it comes to job growth.

In December of 2023, employers added 216,000 jobs, bringing the current unemployment rate to 3.7%. The Labor Department released its monthly report, and while economists predicted a 170,000 increase in jobs, the December monthly report showed that employers exceeded this.

This increase was split among three different job categories including 52,000 job gains in the Government category, 40,000 in leisure and hospitality, and 37,000 in the healthcare industry.

Although the job growth is looking good, some might look at the numbers and think otherwise. In comparison to other years, this may not be a top-tier number, but the job growth rate is starting to normalize a little bit.

We’ve previously seen that the Federal Reserve is keeping an eye on factors like interest rates since they’ve been higher than normal for the past couple of years.

Sung Won Sohn, a professor of finance and economy, said, “The cooling trend in the labor market continues. Following a period of vigorous hiring after the pandemic, there’s now a shift towards more cautious hiring strategies by businesses.” He continued by telling people “Don’t be fooled by the strong job report for December.”

Chris Larkin, managing director of trading and investing said, “Data like this may pump the brakes a bit. For now, the name of the game is patience. Rate cuts are still on the table, but investors will probably have to wait until the second half of the year,” regarding the situation and the new reports from December.

He also said that these reports “probably disappointed bulls who have been riding expectations that a soft labor market will speed up rate cuts,” and stated that investors might have to hold off on any advancements.

Officials are set to have their next policy meeting at the end of January.

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