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Boston Herald
Boston Herald
6 Jan 2024
Boston Herald Wire Services

NextImg:Ticker: US employers add a surprisingly strong 216,000 jobs

The nation’s employers added a robust 216,000 jobs last month, the latest sign that the American labor market remains resilient even in the face of sharply higher interest rates.

December’s job gain exceeded the 173,000 that were added in November. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7% — the 23rd straight month that joblessness has come in below 4%.

Some details of the report, though, may disappoint the inflation fighters at the Federal Reserve, who might now be inclined to delay any cuts in their benchmark interest rate. Still, taken as a whole, the December jobs report reflected a healthy economy, with steady job growth, rising wages and cooling inflation.

Wall Street ended a listless day with slight gains after reports showed workers are getting bigger raises, but also that key parts of the economy still don’t look like they’re overheating.

The S&P 500 rose 0.2% Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 25 points, and the Nasdaq rose 0.1%. Treasury yields swung sharply in the bond market following the economic reports.

In stock markets abroad, indexes were mostly lower in Europe after data showed showed inflation rose to 2.9% in December. The rebound after seven monthly declines fueled debate over how soon the European Central Bank could cut its own interest rates.

Indexes were also lower across much of Asia. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was an exception and rose 0.3%.