After several years of what has been termed a “jobless recovery,” it finally seems official that the private sector, including the traditional engine of job growth, small business, is in a hiring mode. This morning, the Commerce Department released another in a string of positive monthly reports regarding job creation in the U.S.

Not only did jobs grow in the final quarter of the year, but wage growth finally kicked in, as well. With a headline, “Jobs Report Crushes It,” Bloomberg reports that today’s report caps the greatest three-month jobs gain in 17 years and delivering the biggest wage increase since 2008.

The following charts accompanied an analysis of the report issued by Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. (See full report here.)

1. The private sector has added 11.8 million jobs over 59 straight months of jobs growth, extending the longest streak on record.


2. The labor force participation rate rose to 62.9 percent in January, and has been relatively stable, on balance, since October 2013—during which time the unemployment rate has fallen by 1.5 percentage point.

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3. Nominal average hourly earnings for private production and non-supervisory workers have risen 2.0 percent over the last twelve months — implying real wage growth of around one percent, but still below rates needed to overcome the long-standing challenge in this area.

economic chart

4. Consistent with a general pattern of upward revisions during the recovery, jobs growth in November and December was revised up substantially, and the benchmark revision to March 2014 added 91,000 jobs (on a seasonally adjusted basis).


5. Jobs growth in a number of industries diverged from recent trends in January.


(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, White House Council of Economic Advisers. See full report here.)

(Photo: katsrcool via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)