The U.S. economy capped off 2019 with 145,000 new jobs added in December, the Department of Labor said this morning, a tick down from recent months. The headline unemployment rate held at a five-decade low of 3.5 percent.
But the decades-low unemployment rate has translated to just meager wage gains. December’s year on year average hourly wage gain of 2.9 percent marked the first time this measure has dipped below 3 percent since July 2018.
For the entire year of 2019, the American economy added 2.1 million jobs, an average of 176,000 a month. That makes last year the slowest year for job creation since 2011 — three years after the start of the financial crisis. That figure is also down a bit from the 2.7 million positions added in 2018.