December Jobs Report: 312,000 Jobs Added, Unemployment Slightly Rises

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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The U.S. economy added 312,000 jobs in the month of December and the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 3.9 percent, the Department of Labor (DOL) reported Friday morning.

The U.S. economy added 312,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in the month of December. The number blew past economists’ expectations — who forecasted only 182,000 jobs would be added in the final month of 2018. The Department of Labor jobs report caps what has been a strong year for the American economy.

Construction Hat. Shutterstock

Construction Hat. Shutterstock

A large portion of the growth occurred in health care, construction, food services, retail trade and manufacturing. The increase in job numbers exceeds that of the prior month, which saw 250,000 new jobs added to the economy.

The December DOL report closes out what has been a strong year for the U.S. economy. For the first 11 months of 2018, the U.S. economy added an average of 206,000 jobs a month.

The report eases fears that the U.S. job market might be headed for a slowdown.

However, jobless claims rose by .2 percent, with unemployed persons increasing by 276,000. The number of Americans who applied for unemployment increased to its highest level since Thanksgiving, likely because of the partial government shutdown and the end of temporary staffing for the holiday season. (RELATED: The Most People In Nearly 20 Years Quit Their Jobs For Better Ones In 2018)

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