2014 Was Best Year for Job Growth Since 1999, Labor Department Says

PHOTO: The Labor Department reported that 252,000 jobs were added in Dec. 2014 and the unemployment rate is 5.6 percent. The industries with job gains included construction, manufacturing and others.PlayGetty Images
WATCH U.S. Economy Adds 252,000 Jobs in December

Another 252,000 jobs were added in December making 2014 the best year for job growth since 1999, according to the Labor Department.

The Labor Department's monthly jobs report released today shows that 2.95 million jobs were added last year, while the national unemployment rate decreased to 5.6 percent in December from 5.8 percent in November. The industries with job gains included construction, food services, health care, manufacturing and professional and business services.

The Labor Department's numbers for November and December were also revised higher. Total non-farm payroll employment in October was revised to 261,000 from 243,000 while the change for November was revised to 353,000 from 321,000.

The bad news in the report is that wages are down. Last month, average hourly pay fell 5 cents to $24.57 after increasing 6 cents in November. Over the last year, average hourly earnings increased by 1.7 percent.

Bankrate.com's Mark Hamrick expects that 2015 will bring stronger job creation still.

The jobless rate is lowest since June 2008.