March 2018 – The U.S. economy closed out the year with the addition of 148,000 jobs in December and an unemployment rate of 4.1% for the third month running, the Labor Department reported. This is the lowest unemployment rate since December 2000. 2017 began with an unemployment rate of 4.8%. The annual employment growth in 2017 was 2.05 million, making it the seventh year in a row that employment growth topped 2 million.
Also in December, holiday shopping brought in a 4.9% increase in retail sales – the largest year-to-year gain since 2011, according to Mastercard’s SpendingPulse report, tracking sales from November 1 to December 24. The season represented a new record of dollars spent, which research firm Customer Growth Partners reported as $598 billion. Adding estimated sales between Christmas to New Year’s Day, the total came to $671 billion.
thehill.com, 1/5/18; latimes.com, 12/26/17