The American jobs machine kept cranking in December, adding 292,000 jobs and boosting Democratic hopes of running in a strong economy this year. The unemployment rate stayed at 5 percent as the size of the entire labor force grew by nearly 500,000 last month, another positive sign for the economy.
The news was not all great as wages were flat. But wage growth is now at 2.5 percent for the year, not a great number but not terrible either. Presumably, as the nation races toward full employment, wage growth will pick up and American attitudes toward the economy will rise with it.
That would be very good news for likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who is counting on good feelings about the economy helping her succeed President Barack Obama. And it complicates the argument for Republicans counting on widespread dissatisfaction with the economy to help them win the White House.