Payrolls Increase Falls Short But Wages Rise

December nonfarm payrolls rose a modest 156,000 (consensus: 175,000) after an upwardly revised 204,000 gain in November (was 178,000), but a downward October revision to a 135,000 increase (was 142,000). The net October, November revision was 19,000. The unemployment rate ticked up to 4.716% from 4.646% (revised from 4.640%). The labor force jumped 184,000 versus the prior -187,000 (revised from -226,000), while household employment edged up 63,000 from 146,000 in November (revised from 160,000). Average hourly earnings surged 0.4% versus -0.1% previously and 0.3% expected. As for details, private payrolls were up 144,000 (versus ADP’s 153,000), with the goods producing sector adding 12,000 with manufacturing up 17,000, while construction dipped 3,000. The service sector added 132,000 jobs, with education climbing 70, with government jobs up 12,000 while temporary help dropped 16,000.