Reprinted from The New York Times by Reuters on January 5, 2017.
US job growth slowed more than expected in December amid a decline in retail employment, but a pick-up in monthly wage gains pointed to labor market strength that could pave the way for the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates in March.
* Total payrolls rose 148,000 vs 190,000 estimate and upwardly revised 252,000 prior (original 228,000)* Private payrolls rose 146,000 vs 185,000 estimate and upwardly revised 239,000 prior (original 221,000)
* Unemployment rate unchanged at 4.1 pct vs 4.1 pct estimate
* Average hourly earnings rise 0.3 pct month-to-month vs 0.3 pct estimate and downwardly revised 0.1 pct prior (original 0.2 pct) …