Reprinted from The San Francisco Chronicle by Christopher Rugaber on January 7, 2017.
Americans’ paychecks rose in December at the fastest pace in more than seven years as steady hiring and low unemployment led some businesses to pay more to attract and keep workers.
Employers added 156,000 jobs, a decent total that shows that moderate hiring remains sustainable 7½ years after the recovery from the Great Recession began. The report provided the last major snapshot of the economy President-elect Donald Trump will inherit from President Barack Obama.
The figures also reflect the job market’s vast improvement from the deep layoffs and surging unemployment rate that prevailed when Obama took office in January 2009. Last month, the jobless rate was just 4.7 percent, up from a nine-year low of 4.6 percent in November, but far below the painful 10 percent peak of October 2009. Employers have added jobs for 75 straight months — the longest streak on record. …