Employers Added 156,000 Jobs in December

(CN) – U.S. employers added 156,000 new jobs in December, marking the 75th straight month of job growth, the longest job growth streak since 1939.

The report from the Labor Department on Friday was the last employment report of the Obama administration.

The department also reported Friday that the nation’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly in December, to 4.7 percent, but noted that overall, the jobless rate edged down during the fourth quarter of 2016.

The total number of unemployed people in the U.S. now stands at 7.5 million. The unemployment rate had been 4.6 percent in November.

In other economic news, the average hourly rate rose 2.9 percent in 2016, the fastest wage acceleration in 2009. Economists said this is a sign of a tightening labor market.

What this all adds up to is that President-elect Donald Trump will inherit an economy that is in relatively good shape, though some industries and regions of the country lag behind in recovering from the recession that followed the 2008 economic crisis.

Voters in those regions proved key to Trump’s election. He has vowed to boost the U.S. economy by scrapping regulations, cutting corporate taxes, and reviving the manufacturing sector by making it less advantageous for U.S. companies to move operations overseas.

The strength of the economy in the waning days of the Obama administration convinced the Federal Reserve last month to raise their benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point, the first such increase in a year.

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