Over 200,000 jobs added to the United States economy in December.

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The United States economy added over 200,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent from 3.7 percent in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest report. That increase in jobs was the smallest in two years.

The report also shows wage growth only increased 0.3%.

Heather Boushey, Biden Administration Economic Council member says, “Certainly, good news for families, for workers, for people out there trying to find a job or folks that want a job.”

“Wage growth increased only slightly, 0.3% in December, and what this means is that if wages aren’t growing fast, companies’ labor costs aren’t going up as fast and so there’s less incentive to raise prices,” said Nicholas Rupp, ECU Interium Economics Professor.

Though we’re seeing the impact of interest rate hikes that have happened throughout 2022, Rupp believes, “They’ll likely continue into 2023, however with this good jobs report, it’s likely these great interest hikes will not be as large as what we’ve seen in 2022.” Rupp along with many, are hoping for lower interest rates and a drop in inflation.

“Good news on the labor front and hopefully we’ll see fewer interest rate hikes and hopefully we’ll see slower inflation, but it has to happen the other way first– inflation has to drop before they will drop the interest rate hikes.”

Another Federal Reserve meeting will be held at the end of January and it’s likely they’ll continue to raise interest rates until they get their goal of inflation down to 2%.

Economists believe the job growth likely amounted to a solid annual rate of around 2.5% in the last 3 months of last year.