US – Dec Employment Report
13/01/2020 10:02 am MYT
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Non-farm payrolls increased by 145,000 in Dec, while job gains in the previous two months were revised downwards by 14,000 – see figure 1. As shown in table 1, the increase in employment was mainly from the service-providing industries.

In Dec, the headline unemployment rate was steady at 3.5%. The labour force participation rate was also unchanged at 63.2%. The average hourly earnings in Dec rose to US$28.32 from US$28.29 in Nov, climbing by 2.9%, year-on-year. Meanwhile, the average workweek was unchanged at 34.3 hours.

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Soon, we will enter the Year of the Rat. The Rat is the first of all the zodiac animals and represents the start of a 12-year cycle. According to Chinese myth, when the Jade Emperor organised a race to determine the order of the zodiac, the Ox ran the fastest, but the Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride. When they arrived at the finish line, the Rat jumped down from the back of the Ox and landed first. So, the Rat is associated with shrewdness and quick thinking. It also symbolises wealth because of their reproduction rate.

For Malaysians, who have been experiencing a fast deterioration in their well-being, we certainly hope that the Year of the Rat will bring a change of luck. Well, the fortune of Malaysia lies in the hands of all Malaysians. Life is what you make it. As the politicians are failing the people, Malaysians certainly need all the shrewdness of the Rat to fend for themselves.
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