Latest Jobs Report Pleases the Markets

Hiring is above expectations, but wage growth is lower, causing Dow futures to jump
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2023 8:07 AM CST
Latest Jobs Report Pleases the Markets
A hiring sign is displayed at a restaurant in Rolling Meadows, Ill., Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Hiring cooled off a bit in December from the previous month, though the numbers reflect a still-strong labor market. Another part of Friday's unemployment report—on wage gains—has the stock market in a pretty good mood:

  • Hires: Employers added 223,000 jobs in December, slightly above expectations of 200,000, per the Wall Street Journal. The figure is down from a revised total of 256,000 in November, and it's the lowest monthly increase in two years.
  • Rate: The unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, matching a 53-year low, per the AP. It had been expected to remain at 3.7%.
  • Wage gains: These were less than expected, notes CNBC. Average hourly earnings were up 0.3% for the month and 4.6% from the previous year. Expectations were for jumps of 0.4% and 5%.

  • Ramifications: The report is the last big look at jobs data before the Fed meets on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. Investors appear to be pleased that wage gains were lower than expected because it suggests that the Fed's rate increases are helping to tame inflation—and that the Fed might pull back on future increases, per CNBC.
  • Dow futures: They were flat just ahead of the report's release, but they were up more than 350 points in the wake of its release.
  • Context: The numbers mean that US employers added 4.5 million jobs for all of 2022, down from the record 6.7 million added in 2021 as the pandemic receded, per the Journal.
(More jobs stories.)

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