U.S. jobs data was top of mind at the end of last week.

The Labor Department reported on Friday a seasonally-adjusted payroll increase of 292,000 in December, a sign of a stable U.S. economy amid a rocky global backdrop. 2015 totaled 221,000 new jobs average per month, which is a slight drop compared with the 260,000 averaged in 2014, but is still the second-best year since 1999. Wall Street Journal staffer Eric Morath drills down to the meaning behind the numbers. He writes,

"The bulk of U.S. employment gains last year occurred in private service industries. Those jobs, including positions in health care, retail and professional services, tend to be more shielded from international pressures.

Professional and business services led last month’s job creation, adding 73,000 jobs. Half of those were temporary positions, jobs that tend to pay less and thus may have dragged on wage figures.

Construction jobs increased by 45,000 last month after growing by 48,000 in November. That could suggest that warmer weather kept building sites operating in more of the country. Employment also grew in health care, food services and drinking places and on all levels of government. Retailers added a seasonally adjusted 4,300 jobs, a slowdown from November’s gain of 32,000."

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