We're starting the week with what's been called the biggest surprise of the economic cycle. American employers added 312,000 jobs to the U.S. economy in the month of December. Most experts had estimated they'd add 181,000 jobs. One analyst says the fact that so many more jobs were counted indicates that a possible recession, a sustained decrease in the economy is not going to happen anytime soon. The percentage of the American labor force that doesn't have a job, the unemployment rate, increased to 3.9 percent in December.
It was at 3.7 percent the month before. Experts say that's because more Americans got back into the workforce looking for a job. The report also indicated that paychecks on average also increased with employers offering more money to attract new workers. So overall, good news for the U.S. economy. The head of the U.S. Central Bank called the report very strong and because of that and some other events that reassured investors, the U.S. Stock Market jumped up Friday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 747 points then. It was the fourth biggest point increase of all time for the index of 30 major stocks. In fact, every sector of the market increased on Friday. We reported last week how the market saw some major ups and downs in 2018 with several of them setting records. It's possible that more big swings could be ahead.