US employment ends year on strongest note since 2009

Improving fundamentals bode well for real estate

(Credit: festivusweb via Flickr)
(Credit: festivusweb via Flickr)

Good news for the real estate industry: U.S. employment grew for the 75th straight month in December and wage growth was the strongest since 2009.

The unemployment rate inched up to a seasonally adjusted 4.7 percent, from 4.6 percent in November, because more Americans are joining the workforce. 

The U.S. economy added a net 156,000 jobs last month, according to the labor department. Average hourly pay for private-sector employees rose by 10 cents to $26.

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Sluggish wage growth in recent years has been holding back apartment rents and retail spending, so the latest uptick should benefit the real estate industry. In an October interview, Blackstone Group’s [TRDataCustom] real estate head Jonathan Gray said improving economic fundamentals such as employment and wages could more than offset the effects of rising interest rates.

The U.S. unemployment rate hit a peak of 10 percent in 2010 and has been falling steadily since. [WSJ]Konrad Putzier