Job Market Closes Strong: December Employment Report Preview

job market us december 2018 labor report employment unemployment

Signs for tomorrow’s December US jobs report released by the Labor Department point to a strong job market as 2018 came to a close.

According to the ADP’s National Employment Report for the private sector, 271,000 new jobs were added in December. The vast majority of these jobs were service-providing roles with the busy holiday season having the greatest impact on leisure and hospitality.

Small businesses accounted for 33% of the new jobs in the ADP’s report with 89,000 jobs representing the sector’s strongest monthly performance of 2018.

“We wrapped up 2018 with another month of significant growth in the labor market,” reported Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute.

Although the majority of December’s hiring was in service-providing fields, growth was seen across almost all industries including manufacturing and construction. As a precursor to tomorrow’s report from the Labor Department, the ADP’s figures are a positive sign for private company payrolls.

According to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, “Businesses continue to add aggressively to their payrolls despite the stock market slump and the trade war. Favorable December weather also helped lift the job market. At the current pace of job growth, low unemployment will get even lower.”

In a separate report released by the Department of Labor, filings for unemployment benefits rose to a 4-week high of 231,000 in the last full week of 2018.

As with any news, a surprising jobs report could rouse volatility in affected markets. Therefore, risk management is paramount as traders should always be aware of speculating in unpredictable markets.

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