Employment rose more than forecast in December and the jobless rate declined to 5.6 percent, wrapping up the best year for the labor market since 1999 and adding to evidence the U.S. is a standout in the global economy.
The addition of 252,000 jobs followed a 353,000 rise the prior month that was more than previously estimated, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The jobless rate dropped to the lowest level since June 2008. The report wasn’t all good news as earnings unexpectedly declined from a month earlier.
An additional 2.95 million Americans found work in 2014, the most in 15 years and a sign companies are optimistic U.S. demand will persist even as overseas markets struggle. The combination of job growth and cheaper gasoline will probably help stretch workers’ paychecks and sustain consumer spending.
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