Financial Sector Continues Monthly Gains by Adding 13K Jobs in December

The U.S. financial sector added 13,000 jobs in December and extended a streak of monthly employment gains dating back to September 2013, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Last month’s gains followed the addition of 8,000 workers to industry payrolls in November, putting it in line with average monthly growth in the industry over the last two years, BLS said in a statement.

Overall, the U.S. economy added fewer jobs in December, compared with the previous month, and the unemployment rate increased. Employers added 156,000 workers to payrolls last month, after adding 204,000 in November, while the jobless rate rose to 4.7 percent from 4.6 percent.

Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, called December’s numbers a continuation of “the longest streak of total job growth by far on record.”

“Thanks in part to the forceful response to the crisis and policies throughout the eight years of the Obama administration to promote robust, shared growth, the U.S. economy is stronger, more resilient, and better positioned for the 21st century than ever before,” Furman said in a statement Friday.

Some Republicans, however, said they weren’t satisfied with the pace of job growth.

“While I welcome some of the bright spots in this report, it doesn’t change the fact that 2016’s job creation was the worst we’ve seen in years,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said in a statement. “Fortunately, today’s report marks the final chapter of this slow-growth era.”

Briefings

Finance Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the failure of the American Health Care Act is a setback for major GOP priorities like tax reform. “This does make tax reform more difficult, but it does not in any way make it impossible,” he said. “We will proceed with tax reform, we will continue with tax reform.” Ryan said Republican members have “even more agreement” on tax reform compared to health care.

Finance Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said it is unlikely that Congress will pass a tax reform bill before the August recess. Senate GOP taxwriters are considering a tax proposal of their own that does not include the controversial border-adjustable tax on imports found in the House GOP’s blueprint.

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