Remember when Jennifer Lawrence fell on her way up the stairs to receive her Oscar Award for Best Actress in front of millions of viewers? That was sort of an epic fail — but in a cute way, because who doesn’t love J-Law (and also, who hasn’t daydreamed about cake)? Unfortunately, we saw another epic fail with the release of today’s jobs report, except there was nothing cute about it.
Economists were expecting the U.S. economy to add 197,000 jobs in December — but they were off by a hefty 123,000. So whether you’re at brunch or a dinner party this weekend, don’t expect too many glasses to be clinking in a toast to this report.
As you may know, following each month’s jobs report, we read dozens of news reports, scour the Web, and break what we find down to three key talking points you can use. Whether you’re taking a break at the office water cooler or conversing with peers in the industry, you’ll have three conversation starters in your pocket.
HERE’S THE NEWS YOU CAN USE FROM TODAY’S RELEASE:
- How low can it go? Sorry we asked. The U.S. economy added 74,000 jobs in December. This was not just lower than expected; it was the smallest job gain in in three years. Considering the momentum the economy picked up over the past few months, this was sort of a fail. Even the Wall Street Journal called it an “ugly” jobs report. Ouch!
- The unemployment rate is like sunshine on a frigid day — it looks deceptively good. OK, so the unemployment rate dropped from 7 percent to 6.7 percent, the lowest since October 2008. But in case you saw that and got a bit excited, don’t be. It appears to be mostly a result of more people dropping out of the labor force.
- Some winners, many losers. The big winners of this jobs report? Drumroll, please… retailers and manufacturers, with both posting noteworthy hiring increases. Unfortunately, not too many other industries had the same kind of luck in December.
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