US Added 223K Jobs in December

The US Dept. of Labor on Friday announced that employers had added 223K jobs in December, dropping the unemployment rate from 3.6% to 3.5% – a 53-year low.

US Added 223K Jobs in December
Image credit: cbs

Facts

  • The US Dept. of Labor on Friday announced that employers had added 223K jobs in December, dropping the unemployment rate from 3.6% to 3.5% – a 53-year low.
  • Meanwhile, average hourly wage growth increased by 4.6% in December from a year ago. That was a little slower than the 4.8% year-over-year increase seen in November.
  • The December jobs report comes out while the Federal Reserve is still battling inflation by raising interest rates. The Fed raised rates seven times in 2022, but inflation remains high at 7.1%, which is above the 2% inflation clip targeted by the Fed.
  • Pres. Biden reacted positively to the report, calling it "a transition to steady and stable growth that I have been talking about for months."
  • There were 4.5M jobs added to the US economy in 2022, despite layoffs in the tech industry and in sectors — like housing and finance— that are most affected by interest-rate hikes.

Sources: Al Jazeera, PBS NewsHour, Guardian, and Reuters.

Narratives

  • Democratic narrative, as provided by Daily Kos. These are astonishing numbers, and once again the pundits, who’ve been predicting a recession every time there’s the slightest slowdown, have been proven wrong. Inflation is waning, having dropped in the third quarter of last year to half of what it was for the first half of 2022, and job growth is strong. Biden is proving to be one of the best presidents ever on jobs.
  • Republican narrative, as provided by Townhall. The Biden admin. can try to spin this report in a positive light, but there are still too many negatives that the American people can’t ignore. Wage growth isn’t outpacing inflation, so Americans are suffering a cut of more than 2% to their wages. Labor force participation is also lower than pre-COVID 2020 levels. Biden is missing the chance to stop inflation and keep the US from a recession.