A year in jobs reports

Sabri Ben-Achour Jan 9, 2015

With the last jobs report of 2014 now available to us, we can take a full long look back at the year.

For starters, 2014 ended with much stronger job growth than it began with. 

Year over year, 2014 grew the most jobs since 1999.

In a stark move, the unemployment rate jumped down two tenths of a percent in December of 2014 to 5.6%, the lowest it’s been since 2007.  It’s down a full 1.1 percentage points compared to last year.

In November’s jobs numbers, we saw hourly wages jump 0.4%. That was a big bump for one month, and in December those gains were erased. 2014 as a whole was pretty sad for wage growth … and so was 2013 … and so was 2012. As you can see in the chart below, wages have only barely crept up since 2010.

That’s the case for nominal wages, which are wages that don’t take inflation into account.  When you take inflation into account, real wages haven’t moved for decades.

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