Obama's Last Jobs Report a Strong One

U.S. employers added 156,000 jobs in December, capping a year of slower but solid hiring. The report from the U.S. Labor Department is the last major snapshot of the economy President-elect Donald Trump will inherit from President Barack Obama in two weeks.

The department says the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.7% from a nine-year low of 4.6%.

Hourly pay jumped 2.9% from a year earlier, the biggest increase in more than seven years. That is a positive sign that the low unemployment rate is forcing some businesses to offer higher wages to attract and keep workers. Sluggish growth in Americans' paychecks has been a longstanding weak spot in the seven-year economic recovery.

For all of 2016, job growth averaged 180,000 a month, down from 229,000 in 2015, but enough to lower unemployment over time.