Moneybeat – A perfect decade of jobs growth

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming next on The World and Everything in It, the Monday Moneybeat.

NICK EICHER, HOST: With the December jobs report, we can now close the books on a perfect decade of growth in jobs, net positive, each year, for 10 years, an average of 2.26 million jobs added annually. That’s a record and it points to a growing and dynamic economy heading into 2020. 

Here’s how the year 2019 went: American employers added 2.11 million new jobs, although that’s down from 2018’s red-hot year of 2.68 million added. 

For December, the 145,000 new jobs is about 10 percent fewer than economists predicted, but they were enough to hold the unemployment rate at its 50-year low of just 3.5 percent. And it adds to a 111-month streak of new jobs added. For the first time in 10 years, by the way, the number of women on payrolls surpassed men. 

Here’s another trend identified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which collects, calculates, and reports these figures. Income inequality among those over age 25 earning paychecks has gone down: During the Trump presidency so far, wages for the bottom 10 percent of workers rose almost 6 percent per year. Compare that to just 3 percent growth for the top 10 percent. 

The poverty rate for African Americans and Hispanics is now the lowest on record. Forty million fewer people last year lived in households receiving government assistance than in 2016. And the food-stamp rolls have shrunk by almost 10 million over the past three years.

REICHARD: On Wall Street, it was the first full week of trading since the holidays, and all the major indexes posted gains overall for the week. Twice last week, the Nasdaq set new record highs, Wednesday and Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrials and the Standard & Poor’s 500 reached record highs Thursday, but all the indexes retreated slightly before the market close on Friday.

EICHER: The White House announced President Trump will attend the World Economic Forum next week, January 21st and 22nd. He didn’t go last year because of the government shutdown. Speaking of the global economy, the World Bank issued its projections for economic growth in the year ahead. 

Worldwide, growth in 2020 is expected to mirror 2019, just a tenth of a percentage point better.

Advanced economies, it is believed, will grow just 1.4 percent, emerging economies 4.1. Specifically, the World Bank expects 1.8 percent growth for the United States and 1 percent for the Eurozone.

The better news is the bank’s economists expect a slight pickup in global trade this year.

And that is today’s Monday Moneybeat.

(AP Photo/Richard Drew) Trader Andrew Silverman works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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