Progress in the Labor Market

Payroll growth surged in December, capping the second-best year for American workers since 1999 and is further evidence of a resilient job market that prompted the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. The 292,000 newly created jobs far exceeded the 200,000 estimate.  The average hourly rate of pay stayed flat because most of the new jobs came in the temp work and construction, transportation sectors.   However, policy makers are expecting wages to increase as the year goes on, leading to broader inflation and justification for another rate hike.