Posted On: 2006-01-06
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Hey everybody, and welcome back to the Debt Podcast. My name is Jay Fleischman and today is Friday, January 6, 2006. Congratulations on making it through this first week of 2006. I hope the resolution helpers that we've been giving you have been helpful thus far. Just wait until next week, they're going to get a lot bigger, and by the end of the month you're going to have a full financial plan that's going to take you through 2006, and even better, 99% of it is going to be running on auto pilot, which is, I'm sure, great news for everybody out there. I know it's great news for me whenever I put a plan together and I don't have to think about it after it's done.
Anyway, so today we're just going to do a little bit of short news and information, so let's jump right into it.
And now, the latest headlines form the world of personal finance.
First up, job growth sagged in December. Payroll growth was well below estimates and forecast, though November was revised up, wage gain was surprisingly strong. Hiring slumped in December though the economy created two million jobs for the second straight year, the government said Friday, in a reading that was mostly weaker than Wall Street had expected. The economy created a 108,000 jobs last week compared with a revised gain of 305,000 jobs in November, according to the Labor Department. The December gain was the smallest of the year aside from September and October, which was attributable to Hurricane Katrina and the slow growth in hiring attributable to those areas. The report also showed the unemployment rate climbed and wages increased a bit more than forecast. The unemployment rate dipped to 4.29% from 5% in November. The average hourly wage increased .3% in the month, to $16.34 an hour, and for the year the average wages rose 3.1%. So if you didn't get a raise of at least 3.1% you're not keeping up with the Joneses. The employment report is being watched even more closely than usual for clues about what the Federal Reserve will do...