U.S. Job Market Hits Snag, Still Closes 2017 With 2.1 Million New Jobs

The nation’s thriving labor market hit a wall in December with weak job growth of only 148,000, but American employers still managed to close out 2017 with more than 2 million new workers added to their payrolls.

Friday’s (Jan. 5) report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the December U.S. unemployment rate was 4.1% for the third consecutive month with the number of unemployed persons, at 6.6 million, essentially unchanged. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.6% and 926,000, respectively.

Of the total 148,000 nonfarm jobs added to payrolls in December, well below Wall Street expectations of 190,000, most of the gain gains occurred in health care, construction and manufacturing. For the year, payroll employment growth totaled 2.1 million, slightly below a gain of 2.2 million in 2016.    MORE

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