U.S. adds 156,000 in December; economy creates more than 2 million jobs in 2016
The Obama economy closed out with a 4.7% unemployment rate.
In December, his final full month in office, the U.S. economy added a slightly disappointing 156,000 jobs. It marked the 75th consecutive month of job gains, the best on record. For all of 2016, the U.S. added over 2 million new jobs.
Wages grew a solid 2.9% in December, the best pace since 2009. Wage growth has been one of the last measures to gain momentum during Obama’s tenure.
America’s job market has made progress under Obama’s watch. U.S. unemployment hit a high of 10% in October 2009 and is now at less than half that level. The unemployment rate rose just a tad from 4.6% in November, the lowest rate since 2007.
In total, the economy has added over 11 million jobs during Obama’s presidency.
Experts and pundits often debate how much credit a president deserves for job growth. Some believe the Federal Reserve helped buoy the job market by keeping borrowing costs low in order to revive the housing market. Others criticize the Fed’s decisions.
In any case, the American economy still has problems. Growth remains sluggish. The U.S. central bank expects growth to be a mere 2.1% this year.
Over 5 million Americans have part-time jobs but want to work full-time. And many blue collar workers feel left behind in the economic recovery from the Great Recession — a major factor that played into President-elect Donald Trump’s election victory.
Despite the problems, the U.S. job market kept up its overall momentum right up until the end of 2016.