Today the U.S. Labor Department showed that the economy added more jobs than expected in December, adding support to the Federal Reserve's desire to raise rates. Total Nonfarm Payrolls rose by 252K in December vs. consensus of 240K and November's number was revised up from 321K to 353K. The Unemployment Rate declined to 5.6% vs. 5.8% prior (consensus 5.7%), reflecting in part a decline in labor force participation which went from 62.9% (revised) to 62.7%. In December 2.3 Million people were marginally attached to the labor force, and among them 740K were considered discouraged workers (down by 177K YoY). Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. In December, The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged (MoM) at 34.6 hours, and average hourly earnings decreased by -5 cents to $24.57 vs. +6 cents in November. Wholesale Inventories for November are expected to rise +0.3% vs. +0.4% prior with Wholesale Trade Sales expected to come in flat to October's +0.2% advance.
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