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Unemployment, Jobs Both Rise
Unemployment, Jobs Both Rise

More jobs, but unemployment still goes up

The U.S. economy added an estimated 156,000 non-agricultural jobs in December, according to data released Friday.

Wages were up 2.9 percent year-over-year, the strongest gain in that category in seven years and a sign that the economic recovery is finally showing up in workers’ paychecks, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

On the downside, the job gains were a little less than what most economists were predicting, and the unemployment rate did creep up slightly to 4.7 percent.

Overall, the bureau’s monthly economic report is a good one for the Obama Administration to leave office on, said Jay Prag, professor of economics and finance at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.

“I think both sides can claim a little bit of credit on this one,” Prag said. “I think it’s a vote of confidence for Obama as he goes out, and it’s also a sign that people have some confidence in the administration that’s coming in.”

The increase in the unemployment rate is due mostly to more people looking for work, and is not sign the economy is slowing, Prag said.

“People see that the economy is doing well and they think they can find a job, so they’re starting to look again,” Prag said. “It’s actually a sign that people are gaining confidence.”

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