U.S. adds 2.65 million jobs in 2015 for 2nd best year since 1999
NEW YORK — In the face of global fears, the U.S. economy is still gaining speed.
American employers added 292,000 jobs in December. Economists surveyed by CNNMoney predicted 211,000 jobs would be added.
For all of 2015, the economy added 2.65 million jobs, the second best year of jobs gains since 1999.
The unemployment rate stayed at 5% for the third straight month. That’s near what most economists consider “full employment.” Unemployment is down by half from its peak of 10% in 2009.
Americans saw their paychecks go up too. Wages grew 2.5% in December, matching the gains in October, which were the best in six years.
Wages have been one of the last indicators to turn the corner in the U.S. recovery and they’re finally gaining momentum. Growth in October and November was solid too.
“There are a lot of indicators that show the economy continues to move in the right direction,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez told CNNMoney.
The Federal Reserve sees the economy continuing to grow in 2016. In December, it raised its key interest rate for the first time in nearly a decade. The decision was mainly driven by the job market’s progress.
December’s job gains are a reassuring sign that the U.S. economy has shown resiliency in the face of a slowdown in the global economy. Just this week, stock markets around the world panicked on fears that the global slowdown — led China and falling oil prices — is worsening.
Despite those headwinds, America’s economy keeps picking up momentum.