Associated Press (AP): Obama's final jobs report

By Christopher S. Rugaber
Associated Press (AP), Jan 6, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans' paychecks rose in December at the fastest pace in more than seven years as steady hiring and low unemployment led some businesses to pay more to attract and keep workers. Employers added 156,000 jobs, a decent total that shows that moderate hiring remains sustainable 7½ years after the recovery from the Great Recession began. ...

The figures also reflect the job market's vast improvement from the deep layoffs and surging unemployment rate that prevailed when Obama took office in January 2009. Last month, the jobless rate was just 4.7 percent, up from a nine-year low of 4.6 percent in November, but far below the painful 10 percent peak of October 2009. Employers have added jobs for 75 straight months — the longest streak on record. ...

Hourly pay jumped 2.9 percent from a year earlier, a welcome change from the sluggish wage growth that has been a longstanding weak spot in the economic recovery. ...

Paul Saginaw, co-founder of Zingerman's, a mail order food store and deli based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, says he thinks hiring has become more competitive in the past several years. The company, which has 740 permanent employees, is staffing up to open a new restaurant.

In Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan, "everybody's hiring most of the time," Saginaw said. ...

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Copyright 2017 Associated Press

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