Friday, December 26, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Economy adds 155K jobs; rate remains 7.8 pct.

By
From page A2 | January 04, 2013 |

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs in December, a steady gain that shows hiring held up during the tense negotiations to resolve the fiscal cliff.

The solid job growth wasn’t enough to push down the unemployment rate, which remained 7.8 percent last month, the Labor Department said Friday. The rate for November was revised up from an initially reported 7.7 percent. Each year in January, the government revises the rate for the previous 12 months.

The government also said hiring was stronger in the previous month than first thought. November’s job gains were revised up 15,000 to 161,000. October’s increase was nearly unchanged at 137,000.

The “gain is perhaps better than it looks given that firms were probably nervous about adding workers with the fiscal cliff looming,” said Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics.

Robust hiring in manufacturing and construction fueled the December job gains. Construction firms added 30,000, the most in 15 months. That increase likely reflected hiring needed to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy and also gains in home building that have contributed to a housing recovery.

Manufacturers added 25,000 jobs, the most in nine months.

Other higher-paying industries also added jobs. Professional and business services, which include jobs in information technology, management and architecture, gained 19,000. Financial services added 9,000, health care 55,000.

Lower-paying industry sectors were mixed. Restaurants and bars added 38,000 jobs. Retailers cut 11,300, a sign that the holiday shopping season may have been weak. But those cuts came after three months of strong gains.

All the job gains last month came from private employers. Governments shed 13,000 jobs, mostly in local school systems.

Hiring still isn’t strong enough to quickly reduce still-high unemployment. For 2012, employers added 1.84 million jobs, an average of 153,000 jobs a month, roughly matching the job totals for 2011.

But the stable hiring last month shows that employers didn’t panic during the high-stakes talks between Congress and the White House over tax increases and spending cuts that weren’t resolved until New Year’s.

That’s an encouraging sign for the coming months, because an even bigger federal budget showdown is looming. The government must increase its $16.4 trillion borrowing limit by around late February or risk defaulting on its debt. Republicans will likely demand deep spending cuts as the price of raising the debt limit.

Friday’s report did point to some weakness in the job market. For example, the number of unemployed actually rose 164,000 to 12.2 million. Approximately 192,000 people entered the work force last month, but most of them didn’t find jobs.

The unemployment numbers come from a government survey of households; the number of jobs added each month comes from a separate survey of businesses.

A broader category that includes not only the unemployed but also part-time workers who want full-time jobs and people who have given up looking for work was unchanged in December at 22.7 million.

Despite still-modest job growth, the economy is improving. Layoffs are declining. And the number of people who sought unemployment aid in the past month is near a four-year low.

The December jobs report showed that hourly pay is staying slightly ahead of inflation. Hourly wages rose 7 cents to $23.73, a 2.1 percent increase compared with a year earlier. Inflation rose 1.8 percent over the same period.

The once-depressed housing market is recovering. Companies ordered more long-lasting manufactured goods in November, a sign that they’re investing more in equipment and software. And Americans spent more in November. Consumer spending drives nearly 70 percent of economic growth.

Manufacturing is getting a boost from the best auto sales in five years. Car sales jumped 13 percent in 2012 to 14.5 million. And Americans spent more at the tail end of the holiday shopping season, boosting overall sales that had slumped earlier in the crucial two-month period.

————

By Christopher S. Rugaber, AP economics writer

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

 
Pastor has many plans for CA House

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Exchange students bring the world to Davis

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Transit survey: 47 percent ride bikes to campus

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Special holiday gifts

By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A3

 
Woodland-Davis commute bus service expands

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Learn fruit tree tips at free class

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Davis Bike Club hears about British cycling tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Pick up a Davis map at Chamber office

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Explorit: Get a rise out of science

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4

 
NAMI meeting offers family support

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Yoga, chanting intro offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
.

Forum

How much for the calling birds?

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Steve Sack cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

 
Many ensured a successful parade

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Thanks for putting food on the table

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Two more for the road for 9-1 Aggie men

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Patterson is college football’s top coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Clippers get a win over Golden State

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
NBA roundup: Heat beat Cavs in LeBron’s return to Miami

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

‘Unbroken': A bit underwhelming

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Folk musicians will jam on Jan. 2

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Business

Passat: Roomy, affordable sedan with German engineering

By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

James J. Dunning Jr.

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Floyd W. Fenocchio

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, December 26, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7

 
Comics: Thursday, December 26, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: A9