WASHINGTON—The Department of Labor reports that the United States added 145,000 jobs in December 2019, according to the Washington Post. Going into a new decade, the unemployment rate remains at 3.5%, which is below the Federal Reserve’s full employment benchmark of 4.7%.
The December 2019 report shows gains in retail and health care. Amid the busy holiday season, retail added 41,000 jobs—even at a time when many retailers are shutting their doors: Pier 1 is closing as many as 450 locations and Macy’s is closing 29 stores. Employment increased in clothing and accessories stores (up 33,000) and in building material and garden supply stores (up 7,000), the labor department said.
The average hourly earnings for private sector workers in the U.S. rose by 3 cents to $28.32 per hour. During the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen 2.9%.
The number of women on nonfarm payrolls exceeded men in December for the first time since mid-2010. Women held 50.04% of jobs last month, surpassing men on payrolls by 109,000.