U.S. added a disappointing 145K jobs; previous months adjusted downward

The U.S. jobs market ended 2019 on a sour note, with December’s payroll and wage growth missing expectations, according to Labor Department figures released Friday.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by just 145,000 while the unemployment rate held steady at 3.5%. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for job growth of 160,000. The jobless rate met expectations for staying at a 50-year low.

In addition to the slow payroll growth, average hourly earnings rose by just 2.9%, below the 3.1% projection. December marked the first time that wage gains were below 3% on a year-over-year basis since July 2018.


  • November adjusted 10K downward from 266K to 256K.
  • October adjusted from 156,000 to 142,000.
  • Unemployment rate for African Americans rose 0.3 percentage points to 5.9%.

Gains and Losses by Industry:


  • Retail:41,000
  • Hospitality: 40,000
  • Healthcare: 28,000
  • Construction: 20,000
  • Professional and Business Services: 10,000


  • Manufacturing: -12,000
  • Transportation and warehousing: -10,000
  • Mining: -8,000


  • Manufacturing net gain: 46,000 down from 264,000 in 2018.
  • Losses in manufacturing primarily because of Trump’s Tariff War.


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