The U.S. economy added 148,000 jobs in December, according to the monthly employment report released today by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This seasonally adjusted figure is 41 percent lower than November’s upwardly revised addition of 252,000 jobs, and marks a 4 percent decrease over the previous December, when 155,000 jobs were created. December’s addition of 148,000 jobs did not meet economists’ expectations of 180,000, and falls below the average 174,000 jobs added each month in 2017 through November.


Unemployment was unchanged in December, holding steady at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent. The unemployment rate falls in line with projections from economists polled by the Wall Street Journal, and signals a tightened labor market that could result in the Federal Reserve Board putting an additional, fourth interest rate hike in place in 2018 (the Fed had initially reported that three rate hikes could be expected in 2018).

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