The Labor Department released the latest figures on hiring and unemployment, with another gain capping a year of increasing opportunities for American workers.
• 148,000 jobs were added last month, bringing the average over three months to 204,000.
• The unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, the same as in November.
• Average hourly earnings grew by 9 cents, to $26.63, bringing the year-over-year increase to 2.5 percent.
The December gain is the 87th consecutive month of job growth, an unparalleled stretch of good news for workers, who continue to be in high demand.
Trump’s Year in Review
“2017 was a very strong year for the labor market,” Mr. Kolko said.
At the same time, job growth for the year was slightly less robust than in 2016, under President Barack Obama. And most economists think presidents do not generally determine the course of the economy, though that has not stopped Mr. Trump from taking credit.
In a Twitter post on Wednesday, the president pointed to the 4.1 percent unemployment rate as evidence that the economy is “only getting better!” When he took office last January, the rate was 4.8 percent.
Year over year, earnings increased by around 2.5 percent.
Workers in financial services and the leisure and hospitality sectors saw the biggest increases over the year, with wages in both industries ticking up by around 3.6 percent.
“We don’t see our clients being willing to commit to wages increases on a permanent basis,” said Bill Ravenscroft, a senior vice president at Adecco Staffing USA. The agency employs around 60,000 workers, hiring more during the holiday season, and places many in distribution centers and warehouses often used by e-commerce giants.
Those companies have increased pay for workers in hot warehouse markets, such as Memphis or the Inland Empire in Southern California, where they are competing with many other companies crowded into the same area, Mr. Ravenscroft said.