The United States had its best year for hiring in 15 years in 2014 with a healthy job gain in December and the unemployment rate falling to a six-year low. The data supports expectations that the U.S economy will continue to strengthen, despite troubles for overseas economies.
The United States Department of Labor said employers added 252,000 jobs last month and 50,000 more in October and November combined than previously estimated. Unemployment rates dropped to 5.6 percent from 5.8 percent and is at the lowest level since June 2008.
However, wage growth is still weak. Average hourly pay slipped 5 cents in December. In addition to this, it is believed that the unemployment rate fell partly because many of the jobless gave up looking for work. If someone is not looking for look, they are no longer counted as unemployed in the eyes of the government.
Regardless, nearly 3 million more people are getting payed than at the start of 2014. This is the largest annual job gain since 1999 and economists are hopeful. “We are in a recovery that is accelerating,” said Michael Strain, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.
The Federal Reserve considers an unemployment rate in the 5.2 percent to 5.5 percent range to be consistent with a healthy economy, and it is likely the U.S will be in that range by the end of the year.