US Adds 223K Jobs in December, Unemployment Rate Falls to 3.5%

Bitcoin was steady in the immediate aftermath of the report at $16,750.

AccessTimeIconJan 6, 2023 at 1:35 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:05 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

The U.S. added 223,000 jobs in December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday in its monthly nonfarm-payrolls report, down from a revised 256,000 jobs in November and higher than economists' forecasts for 200,000.

The unemployment rate fell 3.5%, versus expectations that it would remain at 3.7%.

The price of bitcoin (BTC) was steady at $16,750 in the minutes following the release of the report.

Even though the headline jobs number topped expectations, the trend of slowing growth is clear. Monthly job gains in the first half of 2022 were routinely above 300,000, and December's number is the lowest since April 2021.

In addition, the closely watched wages details were softer than forecast. Average hourly earnings rose 0.3% in December, down from 0.4% growth in November and below expectations for an 0.4% increase. On a year-over-year basis, average hourly earnings rose 4.6% in December, below expectations for 5% growth.

Combined with reports earlier this week showing continued weakness in the manufacturing sector, the jobs figures may be enough for the Federal Reserve to note that its rate hikes in 2022 are slowing down the economy.

In its December meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee lowered its interest-rate hike to 0.5 percentage point from the 0.75 percentage point it had increased its benchmark rate at its previous four meetings.

Before Friday's jobs report, traders had been split on whether the Fed would increase rates by 0.25 percentage point at its next meeting in February. Following the report, the odds have shifted slightly more toward an expectation of a 0.25 point increase.

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.

Stephen  Alpher

Stephen Alpher is CoinDesk's managing editor for Markets. He holds BTC above CoinDesk’s disclosure threshold of $1,000.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.