Healthcare job growth picks up; 7,400 hospital positions added in December

Healthcare job growth picks up; 7,400 hospital positions added in December

The manufacturing sector added 284,000 jobs over 2018, a 37 percent increase, making 2018 the best year for manufacturing since 1997.

"We remain constructive on the United States labor market at the start of 2019", said Sam Bullard, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"The economy is just going to be spinning its wheels with subpar growth in 2019 if the purchasing managers report is to be believed", said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in NY.

The December DOL report closes out what has been a strong year for the USA economy.

Economists expect the report out at 8:30 a.m. ET will show nonfarm payrolls rose by 184,000 jobs last month, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Job gains were reported across all industries, with the exception of the information sector, which shed employment for the second straight month. The unemployment rate held at 3.7% in November, matching a almost half-century low, and economists expect it declined further to 3.6% in December. The economy created 2.6 million jobs previous year compared to 2.2 million in 2017. That would be up from 155,000 jobs added in November yet shy of the 206,000 average pace in the first 11 months of the year. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed roughly 450 points in morning trading, an increase of about 2 percent. The average number of hours people worked also edged up.

The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate rose slightly to 3.9 percent, but that reflected a surge in jobseekers - a positive for growth.

165,000 jobs, 3.7 percent unemployment, 3 percent annual wage growth.

The strong employment report likely keeps the Federal Reserve on course to continue raising interest rates this year, deepening its rift with Wall Street and President Donald Trump, who has chastised the Fed and its chairman, Jerome Powell, repeatedly for the rate increases. Powell is due to appear on a panel with his two predecessors about two hours after the report's release.

The report eases fears that the USA job market might be headed for a slowdown.

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On Thursday, a gauge of factory activity in the USA fell by the most in a decade.

"Markets will probably be miserable no matter what the outcome", said Dan North, chief economist at Euler Hermes North America in Baltimore.

The Labor Department has not been affected by the partial shutdown of the USA government and will continue to publish economic data complied by its statistics agency, the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

USA employers added 312,000 jobs in December, well above what economists expected and underlining that the American economy remains strong despite recent market turbulence.

Citigroup - 173,000 jobs, 3.7 percent unemployment, 3 percent annual wage growth. The latest monthly jobs shows that the economic weakness causing stock markets to drop isn't yet visible in the employment figures.

The expected continuation of steady job growth suggests that such risks might be - for the moment, anyway - overblown.

Paychecks grew as employers raised wages to attract new workers.

The jolt in hiring offers a dose of reassurance after a tumultuous few months as the outlook from the financial markets has turned decidedly bleaker. The government shutdown, if it extends beyond next week, could weigh on January payrolls.

Employment at construction sites rebounded last month, with companies hiring 38,000 employees after adding no workers in November.

Manufacturing payrolls increased by 32,000 jobs in December, but could surprise on the downside after a measure of factory employment fell last month.

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