KEY MARKET INDICATORS as of Jan 08, 2018
December Job Report
The U.S. job market ended 2017 on a weaker note, adding 148,000 jobs in December. For the full year, employers added 2.06 million jobs (or an average of 171,000 jobs per month). Since its trough in early-2010, the U.S. economy has added around 17.6 million jobs. The job market is now at full employment, with unemployment rate at just 4.1%, which is the lowest level since December 2000. The maturing job market means that it will be harder for the economy to add more jobs without triggering wage inflation. The pace of job growth has already been slowing in the past three years. In the past year, job growth slowed from 1.6% in 2016 to 1.4%. While the headline wage growth remained moderate at 2.5% in December, our analysis of state-level employment and salary data suggests that states with faster job growth are enjoying faster wage growth.
Mining, construction, education and health, and professional and business services reported faster job growth during 2017. Mining employment rebounded after sharp cutbacks in 2016 as commodity prices rebounded. The ongoing housing recovery continued to draw more workers into the construction sector. For the year, construction was the fastest-growing segment of the economy. Retail and information were the only major segments of the economy to see job losses in 2017.
The job market provided a favorable economic environment for potential first-time homebuyers. Unemployment rates for people in the primary homebuying age (25-34 and 35-44) were either the same as or lower than anytime since the last economic peak in 2006-07.