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2014 finishes with best US job growth since 1999 as unemployment rate drops to 5.6%

For the month, the economy added 252,000 jobs while the unemployment rate dropped from 5.8% to 5.6%. For the entire year, the unemployment rate dropped by 1.1 points and the total number of unemployed people was reduced by 1.7 million. The unemployment rate is now at its lowest level since June 2008, months before the financial crisis of 2008

As we have seen in recent months, the job gains once again exceeded market forecasts. In this instance, expectations were the economy would add roughly 240,000 new payroll jobs. The past two months’ numbers were also revised upward. October’s job gains went up to 261,000 from 256,000 while November’s already robust total was increased another 32,000 to 353,000. Overall, 2014 was the nation’s best year for job growth since 1999, when the President of the United States was Bill Clinton.

Per the BLS survey, optimism among the labor force is also improving. In December, there were 740,000 discouraged workers, which was down 177,000 from the same time the previous year. Discouraged workers are those who have stopped trying to find work as they feel there are no jobs available to them. While one would love to see this number down to zero, the fact that it is dropping is another positive sign for the economy.


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