Hundreds of thousands of Americans have left the workforce after frustrations of being unable to find work. Only 74,000 new jobs were created in December, falling short of hopeful predictions. Veteran unemployment fell to 5.5 percent while post 9/11 veterans unemployment is at 7.3 percent.
FOXBusiness — The U.S. economy added only 74,000 jobs in December, well shy of estimates and dinging hopes of a widespread jobs recovery.
The headline unemployment rate fell to 6.7%, the lowest level in five years. But the rate fell primarily because hundreds of thousands of people left the workforce unable to find jobs, according to figures released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Economists had predicted 196,000 new jobs last month and that the rate would remain unchanged at 7%.
Analysts were hard pressed to explain why the number fell so short of expectations.
“We stop short of making larger observations based on this number. The economy, based on any number of other indicators, has been picking up steam of late which makes today’s number….curious,” said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at research firm BTIG.
Strong October and November jobs data, combined with a string of recent positive economic reports, led analysts to predict – incorrectly — that the positive trend would continue into December.