Earlier we gave a big picture explanation how the US can add 292,000 while average hourly wages actually decline. Below is a more nuanced answer, looking at the breakdown of jobs by industry in December. It will probably come as no surprise to anyone that for another consecutive month, the well-paying jobs: mining and logging, wholesale trade, manufacturing, and information barely posted a net increase.
Alternatively, the worst quality jobs continued to soar, pushed higher once again by none other than education and health, where Obamacare was once again instrumental to propel healthcare jobs by a 52,600 surge in December.
The rest was just ugly: temp help soared by 34,400, while waiter and bartenders added another 36,900. The one surprising, and positive outlier: construction jobs - traditionally a well-paid category - soared by 45,000, something very unexpected for the otherwise freezing month of December. This, however, is easily explained by two words: warm weather. As Goldman admits, "Construction employment rose by a firm 45k, a gain we suspect was helped by warm weather. " This means that in January once the weather effect wears off, all these jobs will be lost and then some.
Finally, employment of "couriers and messengers" gained 15k, likely reflecting seasonal adjustment challenges related to secular growth in online holiday shopping. The flip side: thousands of malls are going empty, and soon to crush the CMBS market.
The full breakdown is below.