US employers added solid 223,000 jobs in December in sign of still-robust labor market

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US employers added a solid 223,000 jobs in December in sign of a still-robust labor market despite Fed rate hikes.

Associated Press WASHINGTON — America’s employers added a solid 223,000 jobs in December, evidence that the economy remains healthy yet also a sign that the Federal Reserve may have to raise interest rates more aggressively to slow growth and cool inflation.

The December job growth, though a decent gain, amounted to the lowest monthly increase in two years. The unemployment rate remained fell to 3.5%, matching a 53-year low, the Labor Department said Friday.Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS Feed | Omny Studio Last month’s job growth capped a second straight year of robust hiring during which the nation regained all 22 million jobs it lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.

People are also reading… The picture for 2023 is much cloudier. Many economists foresee a recession in the second half of the year, a consequence of the Fed’s succession of sharp rate hikes. The central bank’s officials have projected that those increases will cause the unemployment rate to reach 4.6% by year’s end.

Though the Fed’s higher rates have begun to cool inflation from its summertime peak, they have also made mortgages, auto loans and other consumer and business borrowing more expensive. For now at least, the job market is showing surprising resilience in the face of higher interest rates across the economy. Employers added 4.6 million jobs in 2022, on top of 6.7 million in 2021. All that hiring was part of a powerful rebound from the pandemic recession of 2020. Subscribe to stay connected to Tucson. A subscription helps you access more of the local stories that keep you connected to the community.

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