Wages Continue to Trend Upwards

January 5, 2007 (Jobs Byte)

Wages Continue to Trend Upwards

Jobs Byte by Heather Boushey

For Immediate Release: January 5, 2007

Contact: Dan Beeton, 202-293-5380 x104

Growth in hours indicates falling productivity for the fourth quarter of 2006.

The establishment survey showed the economy adding 167,000 jobs in December, on top of upward revisions of 36,000 for October and November. Over the past three months, the average job growth was 136,000. Gains in employment continue to trend below the recovery of the 1990s, when the economy added an average of 224,000 each month.

Job gains were found in the service-producing industries. Transportation added 15,200 jobs (above its usual monthly average gain of 9,000), information added 12,000 jobs, and professional and business services added 50,000 jobs in December.

Job losses were spread across the goods-producing sector and manufacturing lost another 12,000 jobs in December, for a total of 72,000 for the past year. There was also a notable decline in employment in residential specialty trade contractors, who lost 10,000 jobs in December and 103,000 jobs over the past year. Other sectors with losses include transportation equipment (5,000 jobs), motor vehicles and parts (5,000 jobs), textile mills (2,000 jobs), retail trade (9,000 jobs), and building material and garden supply stores (8,000 jobs).