The American labor market completed a decade-long marathon of hiring in the final month of 2019, and still shows few signs that it is running out of breath.
Payroll gains in December capped a year of steady but slowing gains in employment, the government reported Friday, nudging the year’s total past 2.1 million jobs. That was fewer than 2018’s additions but more than enough to outpace population growth.
“We had relatively strong and steady job growth over the year despite a number of headwinds including a trade war with China, weaker global activity and heightened policy uncertainty,” Gregory Daco, the chief United States economist at Oxford Economics, said. Employers added 145,000 workers in December.
Cooling job creation is normal in the 11th year of an economic expansion and a record-breaking streak of job gains. Looking ahead, Mr. Daco said the nation’s job machine was likely to crank down further.The chemical manufacturing subsector had 861600 employees in December 2019 (down 200 since November), 564500 production employees (up 1100) and the unemployment rate was flat at 1.2%. Not too shabby since the high of 10.3% or so in 2010.