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ONCE UPON A DECEMBER

We’re live-charting the tolerable US jobs report for December 2016

Woman outside in winter with a coat on.
Unsplash/Daniel Bowman
The job market kept warm this winter.
  • Dan Kopf
By Dan Kopf

Data editor

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

The last job numbers for 2016 are out. They’re solid, let’s say tolerable.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 156,000 new jobs were created in December. This was just below expectations for job creation for the month, but an upwards revision of nearly 20,000 jobs to the BLS’s reported numbers in October and November, almost makes up for that.

The best news came in terms of wage growth. Average hourly wages are up 10 cents an hour from the previous year, making 2016 the strongest year of wage growth of the post Great Recession.

When US president-elect Donald Trump gets inaugurated on Jan. 20, he will inherit a country with an unemployment rate of 4.7%. (It was at 7.8% when US president Barack Obama took office in January 2009, and peaked at 10% later that year.)

The release of the US jobs report is a monthly moment of rapture for economics junkies. It’s a time for people to complain about how the unemployment rate is calculated, to tweet about employment disparities by race and ethnicity, and to make nerdy jokes that really play to the supply-and-demand-curves crowd. We will be collecting the best of the discussion across the internet, as well as offering our own insights, and posting it all right here throughout the day.

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