WASHINGTON, DC (LEX 18) – U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta today issued the following statement regarding the December 2018 Employment Situation report:
“With more than 5,000,000 jobs added since the 2016 election, the American economy surpassed 150,000,000 jobs for the first time ever.
“This month’s strong jobs report exceeded expectations, with 312,000 jobs added in December and, adding upward revisions from October and November, saw a total of 370,000 jobs added to the economy. Significant job gains were widespread including the construction, manufacturing, retail trade, education and health services and leisure and hospitality sectors.
“The labor force added 419,000 individuals and saw a 0.2% increase to 63.1%. Labor force participation for women 25-54 was particularly strong, rising by 0.3%, returning to 2009 levels.
“Average hourly earnings rose by 3.2% over the past 12 months and this is the third straight month that the year-over-year wage gains exceeded 3%. Prior to October 2018, the last time average hourly wage gains exceeded 3% was April 2009.
“As more people moved into the labor force, the unemployment rate moved up to 3.9%. More individuals moving into the labor force is welcomed news as job creators look to fill seven million open jobs.
“This closes a very strong 2018. Positive news was widespread: 2.6 million new jobs created in the past twelve months, America’s average wage earnings are on the rise, 8 months of unemployment below 4%, and series low unemployment rates this year for African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and those without a high school degree.
“While job growth remains strong, it is important that policymakers continue to foster an environment that promotes job creation and wage growth. This Administration will keep working to grow our economy and create family-sustaining careers for America’s workers.”